Experimental assessment on preparation of biodegradable polythylene/polylatic acid-chithosan composite from renewable resources
Due to poor degradability and contamination risk of synthetic plastics, utilization of renewable resources is encouraged. Biobased thermoplastic polymers from renewable resource that is inexpensive, biodegradable, compostable and renewably non-toxic, is focused. In this paper mixtures of synthetic and natural polymers were used as a potential option to reduce pollution by plastic waste. The study is aimed at assessing utilization of sweet potato waste as a source of bioplastic for package application, the polymer was modified with a biopolymer chitosan to obtain polylactic acid-chitosan plastic. The developed polymer matrix was blended with polyethylene to obtain biodegradable packaging material. The bioplastic was characterized using Fourier Transformed Infra-Red Spectroscopy (FTIR) and scaning electron microscope (SEM). Physical and mechanical properties of the composites were evaluated by measuring enzymatic degradation, tensile strength, and elongation at break. The results have shown that the film obtained have homogeneous surface by (SEM). Mechanical properties of the bio plastics revealed that tensile strength increases with increases in the concentration of chitosan and hence, the elongation at break decreases with increase in chitosan content. While the fastest enzymatic degradation was observed to have high microbial growth on the bio plastics with high content of Chitosan-Polylactic acid.