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Assessment of the Degradation of PLA/PCL Biocomposites in a Landfill Environment

Authors: Agwuncha SC, Chukwu FO, Azeh Y, Ojo K

DOI Info:


In this study, a biodegradable blend of Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) with Poly(?-caprolactone) (PCL) compounded with boehmite (BAI) and natural fiber were prepared and their biodegradation rate under real savannah environmental conditions was assessed for 13 weeks burial time. The effect of temperature and moisture content on the biodegradation rate were studied by weight loss monitoring with respect to the percentage loading of PCL, BAI, and natural fiber. The result indicated that the degradation rate of the pristine PCL was approximately 9%, while pristine PLA showed no changes during the study period. However, the degradation of PLA/PCL blends started after the first six weeks of soil burial, with the sample reaching a 19% weight loss for 70/30 (w/w) blend of PLA/PCL. The addition of 4% nanoparticles (BAI) retarded the degradation rate to 3.5% for the 70/30/4 sample due to improved compatibility. While the nanocomposite blend containing natural fiber (PLA/PCL/BAI/Fiber) showed a higher degradation rate above 19%. The results showed that natural fiber composites of PLA/PCL blend remained very sustainable material regardless of the immediate environment and can be considered a friendlier alternative to its pure blend or nanocomposites.

Affiliations: Department of Chemistry, Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria.
Keywords: Polylactides (PLA), Poly(?-caprolactone) (PCL), Boehmite, Polymer Blends, Bionanocomposite, Landfill Burial, Biodegradation
Published date: 2022/06/30

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ISSN: 2635-3342 (Print)

ISSN: 2635-3350 (Online)

DOI: In progress

ISI Impact Factor: In progress

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Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Benin, PMB 1154, Ugbowo, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.