Submitted to: Pacific Basin Society Chemical International Congress Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 17, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Formulations containing starch-polyethylene in combination with pectin, chitin or pullulan were prepared with either polyethylene-co- acrylic acid or polyethylene glycol as a plasticizer and were extruded into blown films. Biodegradability of these films was assessed in laboratory cultures and in a natural aquatic environment for 60 days. Degradation was assessed by the loss of physical properties with fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and cross-polarization/magic angle spinning **13C-solid-state-NMR spectroscopy. All films degraded in both environments within 60 days. Compared to laboratory cultures, degradation was much more rapid in the aquatic environment, particularly, in films containing polyethylene glycol as a plasticizer. The extent of degradation was highest for starch-pectin films (75%), followed by starch-pullulan (45%) and starch-chitin (35%) films. Formulations, manufacture, properties and possible applications of these plastics will be discussed.