Sabbir Ansari and Tasneem Fatma* Pages 1 - 8 ( 8 )
Background: Poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) has attracted much consideration as biodegradable biocompatible polymer. This thermoplastic polymer has comparable material properties to polypropylene. Materials with more valuable properties may result from blending, a common practice in polymer science. Objective: In this paper, blends of PHB (extracted from cyanobacterium Nostoc muscorum NCCU- 442 with polyethylene glycol (PEG) were investigated for their thermal, tensile, hydrophilic and biodegradation properties. Methods: Blends were prepared in different proportions of PHB/PEG viz. 100/0, 98/2, 95/5, 90/10, 80/20, and 70/30 (wt %) using solvent casting technique. Morphological properties were investigated by using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis were done for thermal properties determination whereas the mechanical and hydrophilic properties of the blends were studied by means of an automated material testing system and contact angle analyser respectively. Biodegradability potential of the blended films was tested as percent weight loss by mixed microbial culture within 60 days. Results: The blends showed good misciblity between PEG and PHB, however increasing concentrations of plasticizer caused morphological alteration as evidenced by SEM micrographs. PEG addition (10 % and above) showed significant alternations in the thermal properties of the blends. Increase in the PEG content increased the elongation at break ratio i.e enhanced the required plasticity of PHB. Rate of microbial facilitated degradation of the blends was greater with increasing PEG concentrations. Conclusions: Blending with PEG increased the crucial polymeric properties of cyanobacterial PHB.
Biodegradable plastics; polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB); cyanobacteria; polyethylene glycol (PEG); plasticizer
Jamia Millia Islamia, Jamia Millia Islamia - Biosciences, New Delhi