Improvements in thermal and mechanical properties of composites based on thermoplastic starch and Kraft Lignin

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de S. M. de Freitas, Amanda
Rodrigues, Jéssica S.
Maciel, Cristiane C. [UNESP]
Pires, Ariane A.F.
Lemes, Ana Paula
Ferreira, Marystela
Botaro, Vagner R.

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Thermoplastic starch (TPS) is a widely studied biopolymer as an alternative to the use of conventional polymers. In this sense, the incorporation of fillers or reinforcements coming preferably from other substances of natural origin, can be an alternative to try to improve some mechanical and thermal properties of starch polymers. Thus, Kraft Lignin (KL), can be an excellent filler to be incorporated, since it presents mechanical and thermal properties and reduces the cost and weight of the final compounds. TPS films were prepared by casting using dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as solvent and additives with 2, 4 and 8% KL. Characterization of TPS films and compositions with KL were carried out by Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Dynamic Thermomechanical Analysis (DMTA), tensile testing and contact angle. Samples were also analyzed for biodegradation and for the ability to remove contaminants in water, Metil Orange (MO), by Ultraviolet-Visible Spectroscopy (UV–Vis). The FT-IR spectra of the films showed bands typical of functional groups derived from starch and lignin, with the intensity of these bands varying among the samples studied. Micrographs revealed slightly different morphologies among the films, but all showed irregular shapes with structures that appeared as plots. Increasing the percentage of KL led to an increase in contact angle values, showing a more hydrophobic behavior. In the TGA analysis, it was possible to observe a change in the main degradation event of the films for lower temperatures, especially of TPS – 4 and 8% KL compared to the TPS film. Films with KL had the peak of maximum degradation shifted to temperatures below the starch film, where the decrease in intensity of the main peak in the TPS - 4% KL and TPS - 8% KL samples demonstrates that there was less mass loss in the event. There was also in the percentage of residue as the addition of KL was increased The DMTA analyses allowed for the conclusion that presence of KL in TPS film allowed for an increase in its energy storage property, and that the loss modulus followed a decreasing order of storage modulus values to TPS - 8% KL from TPS. For the tensile strength property only TPS - 4% KL has significant improvement, and the elongation at break showed an increase for TPS – 4 and 8% KL compared to TPS. Samples showed a continuous and progressive biodegradation process, being completely biodegraded within 10 days. The monitoring of the ability to remove contaminants from water by UV–Vis, also showed promising results of compounds for this application. The best results were obtained, in most tests, for the TPS- 4% KL films.



Biodegradation, Composites, Contaminant removal, Lignin, Starch, Thermomechanical properties

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International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, v. 184, p. 863-873.