Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Scientific & Technical Article

Using glycerol produced from biodiesel as a plasticiser in extruded biodegradable films

Bilck, A. P.; Müller, Carmen M. O.; Olivato, Juliana B.; Mali, Suzana; Grossmann, Maria Victória Eiras; Yamashita, Fabio

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The demand for renewably sourced biodegradable materials has increased the need to produce materials that combine appropriate functional properties at competitive costs. Thermoplastic starch and polyester blends are an interesting alternative to current materials due to the low cost of starch and the functional properties and processability of the resulting blends. Producing thermoplastic starch (TPS) requires using a plasticiser at concentrations between 20 and 30%wt (in relation to starch). Glycerol is the most common plasticiser due to its high plasticising capacity and thermal stability at processing temperatures. The objective of this study was to evaluate glycerol waste from the biodiesel industry, with different degrees of purification, as plasticisers for TPS / poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) blends. Different purities of glycerol produced films with similar mechanical, optical and barrier properties to those made with purified glycerol (99.7%). Therefore, crude glycerol is a renewable alternative plasticiser that reduces the cost of plasticisation by 6-fold.


cassava starch, poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate), biopolymers, extrusion, biodegradable packaging.


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