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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Bioproducts Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #275001

Research Project: Biorefining Processes

Location: Bioproducts Research

Title: Miscibility of poly(lactic acid) and poly(ethylene oxide) solvent polymer blends and nanofibers made by solution blow spinning

item Olivera, Juliano - Embrapa
item Moraes, Eduardo - Embrapa
item Marconini, Jose - Embrapa
item Mattoso, Luiz - Embprapa
item Glenn, Gregory - Greg
item Medeiros, Eliton - Universidade Federal Do Rio De Janeiro

Submitted to: Polymer Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2013
Publication Date: 3/2/2013
Citation: Olivera, J.A., Moraes, E.A., Marconini, J.M., Mattoso, L.H., Glenn, G.M., Medeiros, E.S. 2013. Miscibility of poly(lactic acid) and poly(ethylene oxide) solvent polymer blends and nanofibers made by solution blow spinning. Polymer Journal. 129(6):3672-3681.

Interpretive Summary: Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is an important polymer derived from corn starch that has important applications in the medical field and is generally considered immiscible with another important polymer in the medical field, poly(ethylene oxide). ARS researchers in collaboration with scientists from Embrapa of Brazil have demonstrated that a 3:1 blend of PLA:PEO has some miscibility. The polymer blends could have important medical applications and add value to agriculturally derived materials.

Technical Abstract: The miscibility of blends of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) was studied in polymer solutions by dilute solution viscometry and in solution blow spun nanofibers by microscopy (SEM, TEM) and by thermal and spectral analysis. Three blends of PLA and PEO were solution blended in chloroform. Dilute solvent viscometry indicated that a 0.75:0.25 blend of PLA:PEO was miscible while the two other blends were immiscible. The neat polymers and blends were solution blow spun into nanofibers. X-Ray analysis indicated that crystallinity in blends was positively correlated with the PEO content. All of the blends had contact angle measurements similar to neat PEO. FTIR and Raman spectroscopy indicated interaction between ester and ether groups in the 0.75:0.25 blend. Partial miscibility was attributed to dipole-dipole interactions between ester groups of PLA and ether groups of PEO.