Bio-based polymeric composites comprising wood flour as filler.

PMID 15244431


The increasing effort on development of bio-based polymeric materials in recent years is motivated by the basic concept of meeting the sustainability criteria for industrial development in the third millennium. Within this framework, our research group is currently involved in assessing the potentiality of some agro-industrial overproduction and byproducts in the formulation of eco-compatible bio-based polymeric materials displaying, among others, the propensity to biodegrade under controlled environment conditions. In the present work, beech wood flour (Bwf) composites were prepared from plasticized poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB). The type of plasticizer [tri(ethylene glycol) bis(2-ethylhexanoate) (TEGB) and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG200)] and the amount [5 and 20 wt %] were selected as independent variables in a factorial design. Thermal and mechanical properties of 90 wt % PHB composites were investigated. Incorporation of PEG200 was found to compromise thermal stability of PHB as demonstrated by the higher decrease on the onset decomposition temperature (T(d)) and the drop in its average molecular weight (M(w)). The present study underlines the fact that TEGB/PHB/beech wood flour composites can be optimized to obtain new materials for disposable items.