Volume 44 - Issue 4 - 463 - 476

The Effects of Citric Acid and Stearic Acid Compatibilizers on the Degradation Behavior of TPS/LDPE Blends for Mulch Films

Sitrik Asit ve Stearik Asit Uyumlaştırıcılarının TPN/AYPE Karışımı Malç Filmlerinin Bozunma Davranışı Üzerine Etkileri

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) is one of the most widely used plastic in agriculture and the degradability of mulch film is increased by introducing thermoplastic starch (TPS) into the LDPE. In this study, TPS/LDPE blends were prepared by twin screw compounder and TPS content is varied from 20 to 40%. To improve the interfacial adhesion and dispersion of TPS, citric acid and stearic acid were added as compatibilizers. To ac- celerate the degradation cobalt(II)acetylacetonate was used as a pro-oxidant. The blended mulch films were buried in soil inoculated with Coriolus versicolor (L.) Quél. and Postia placenta (Fr.) M.J. Larsen & Lombard for 180 days for the degradation. The changes in the chemical structures of the films were evaluated by FTIR spectroscopy before and after soil burial treatment. The weight loss of all samples achieved after 180 days of biodegradation and increasing starch content speeded up the weight loss. The effects of compatibilizers on thermal, tensile and morphological properties of blends were determined by TGA, mechanical and SEM analy- sis. When cobalt(II)acetylacetonate used together with citric acid, the thermal stability of TPS in films was enhanced. It was also found that samples with citric acid exhibited higher elongation at break values compared to films with stearic acid. 

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