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Biodegradation of Polyhydroxybutyrate-Co- Hydroxyvalerate (PHBV) Blended with Natural Rubber in Soil Environment

Authors: K. Kuntanoo, S. Promkotra, P. Kaewkannetra


According to synthetic plastics obtained from petroleum cause some environmental problems. Therefore, degradable plastics become widely used and studied for replacing the synthetic plastic waste. A biopolymer of poly hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV) is subgroups of a main kind of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Naturally, PHBV is hard, brittle and low flexible while natural rubber (NR) is high elastic latex. Then, they are blended and the biodegradation of the blended PHBV and NR films were examined in soil environment. The results showed that the degradation occurs predominantly in the bulk of the samples. The order of biodegradability was shown as follows: PHBV> PHBV/NR> NR. After biodegradation, the blended films were characterized by appearance analysis such as Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). It was found that the biodegradation mainly occurred at the polymer surface.

Keywords: Biodegradation, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), Polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV), natural rubber (NR).

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