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Study of the degradation of biodegradable polymers by light, heat and microorganisms in composted soil

Grant number: 08/08264-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2009
Effective date (End): February 29, 2012
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal researcher:Luiz Henrique Capparelli Mattoso
Grantee:Adriana de Campos Pastre
Home Institution: Embrapa Instrumentação Agropecuária. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Brasil). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


The vast majority of plastics produced from petrochemical sources is not easily degraded due to its molecular structure and hydrophobic character, causing accumulation in the environment, representing a significant source of environmental pollution. The mixture of natural materials such as starch, natural fibres and biodegradable polymer is a promising alternative for replacing part of the non-biodegradable plastics in appropriate applications. The starch, a type of polysaccharide reserves of most plants, is a biopolymer low cost. This can be processed with thermoplastic and mixed with other natural fibres and polymers. The poly (e-caprolactone) (PCL), is potentially biodegradable due to the presence of hydrolysable ester groups and presents low melting temperature. This work aims to assess the thermodegradation, photodegradation and degradation of PCL mixed with starch and natural fibre in composted soil, using a semi-automatic analysis of the carbon dioxide released, based on biodegradation tests of polymers (method of Sturm). The samples, in different compositions of PCL, starch and natural fibre will be treated with light and heat. Following are treated with composted soil microorganisms and microorganisms such as Trogia buccinalis and Phanerochaete chrysosporium, known to degrade materials persistent in the environment for the period of 120 days. The physical and chemical characteristics of composted soil, such as pH, humidity, temperature, organic matter and nutrients will be monitored during of the microbial treatment. After microbial treatment, samples will be analyzed by exploratory differential calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), loss of weight, dynamic thermal mechanical analysis (DMA) and tensile mechanical tests.

Scientific publications (5)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CARMONA, VITOR BRAIT; CORREA, ANA CAROLINA; MARCONCINI, JOSE MANOEL; CAPPARELLI MATTOSO, LUIS HENRIQUE. Properties of a Biodegradable Ternary Blend of Thermoplastic Starch (TPS), Poly(epsilon-Caprolactone) (PCL) and Poly(Lactic Acid) (PLA). JOURNAL OF POLYMERS AND THE ENVIRONMENT, v. 23, n. 1, p. 83-89, MAR 2015. Web of Science Citations: 28.
CARMONA, VITOR BRAIT; DE CAMPOS, ADRIANA; MARCONCINI, JOSE MANOEL; CAPPARELLI MATTOSO, LUIZ HENRIQUE. Kinetics of thermal degradation applied to biocomposites with TPS, PCL and sisal fibers by non-isothermal procedures. JOURNAL OF THERMAL ANALYSIS AND CALORIMETRY, v. 115, n. 1, p. 153-160, JAN 2014. Web of Science Citations: 22.
CAMPOS, A.; TEODORO, K. B. R.; TEIXEIRA, E. M.; CORREA, A. C.; MARCONCINI, J. M.; WOOD, D. F.; WILLIAMS, T. G.; MATTOSO, L. H. C. Properties of thermoplastic starch and TPS/polycaprolactone blend reinforced with sisal whiskers using extrusion processing. POLYMER ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE, v. 53, n. 4, p. 800-808, APR 2013. Web of Science Citations: 15.
CAMPOS, A.; MARCONCINI, J. M.; IMAM, S. H.; KLAMCZYNSKI, A.; ORTIS, W. J.; WOOD, D. H.; WILLIAMS, T. G.; MARTINS-FRANCHETTI, S. M.; MATTOSO, L. H. C. Morphological, mechanical properties and biodegradability of biocomposite thermoplastic starch and polycaprolactone reinforced with sisal fibers. JOURNAL OF REINFORCED PLASTICS AND COMPOSITES, v. 31, n. 8, p. 573-581, APR 2012. Web of Science Citations: 17.
KELCILENE B. R. TEODORO; ELIANGELA DE M. TEIXEIRA; ANA C. CORRÊA; ADRIANA DE CAMPOS; JOSÉ M. MARCONCINI; LUIZ H. C. MATTOSO. Whiskers de fibra de sisal obtidos sob diferentes condições de hidrólise ácida: efeito do tempo e da temperatura de extração. POLIMEROS-CIENCIA E TECNOLOGIA, v. 21, n. 4, p. 280-285, 2011.

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