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Effect of Temperature, Catalyst Concentration and Time, on Polylactic Acid Production from Sisal Boles Juice by Ring Open Polymerization

Neema Msuya
Abraham K. Temu
Rwaichi J.A. Minja


Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable and renewable alternative to non-biodegradable petrochemical-based polymers that is environmentally friendly and green. PLA can be made from a variety of agricultural wastes that contain sugars, such as sisal boles. This study aimed at analysing the possibility of producing PLA from lactic acid (LA) produced from sisal bole. A 2n factorial design was used to analyse the effects of temperature (160-180ºC), time (1-2 hrs) and tin octoate catalyst concentration (0.025-0.05%) on the PLA yield during polymerization. Minitab Version 20.2.0 was used to design the experiment and analyse the effects on the responses through ANOVA. It was possible to produce 0.73±0.05 g of lactide per g of sisal bole LA used. More than 99% conversion of lactide into PLA was done for 2 hrs when the system temperature was 180ºC regardless of the catalyst ratio used. Temperature and time significantly affected the yield with p-values of less than 0.05 at 95% confidence level. The current findings support sisal bole juice as an alternative feedstock for LA production, a precursor for PLA. The use of sisal bole (SB) waste will protect environment by using waste biomass as an opportunity to participate in a global move to produce biobased plastics and promote the ban on the use of petrochemical-based plastics in packaging.

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eISSN: 2619-8789
print ISSN: 1821-536X