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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Prospects for Biodegradable Mulch Films

Authors
item Shogren, Randal
item Lawton Jr, John
item Wang, Linfu

Submitted to: American Society for Plasticulture Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 21, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: During the past several years, biodegradable polyester and polyamide resins have become commercially available and have been processed into thin films with good mechanical properties. These have potential as biodegradable mulch films but are currently rather expensive ($2-5/lb) compared to polyethylene ($0.60/lb). In order to reduce the cost, we have been investigating the preparation of laminates of polyesters onto inexpensive starch-based films using coextrusion techniques. Water resistance and adhesion of the polyester coating onto the starch depended on the type of polyester used and processing conditions. Alternatively, paper substrates coated with polyesters based on soybean oil have also been studied. Data on biodegradation rates in soil will be presented.

Last Modified: 9/2/2014
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