INJECTION MOULDED BIOPLASTICS FROM PLASTICIZED SOY MEAL AND BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER BLENDS

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INJECTION MOULDED BIOPLASTICS FROM PLASTICIZED SOY MEAL AND BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER BLENDS

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Title: INJECTION MOULDED BIOPLASTICS FROM PLASTICIZED SOY MEAL AND BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER BLENDS
Author: Zhou, Xiaobo
Department: School of Engineering
Program: Engineering
Advisor: Mohanty, Amar
Abstract: Soy meal, a coproduct of the soy oil-based biodiesel industry, has up to 50 wt% protein content. The main aim of this work was to develop value-added application for soy meal by blending with biopolymers. The chosen biopolymers were poly(butylenes adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) and poly(lactic acid) (PLA). This study is divided into two parts: the first part explained the plasticization of soy meal and modification of soy meal by denaturation. Characterization by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy confirmed that the soy meal was plasticized and denatured. This part also discussed the fabrication, testing and characterization of blends of PBAT/soy meal (SM), PBAT/plasticized soy meal (PSM) and PBAT/modified plasticized soy meal (mPSM). The elongation at break of the bioblend was found to increase after plasticization of soy meal, and improved furthermore after denaturation while the tensile strength remained the same. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images showed that the blends PBAT/mPSM had smoother surfaces and better internal structures than the other two. The second part of the study investigated the properties of mPSM blended with PBAT and PLA at varying ratios. The results revealed that with an increase in PLA content, the tensile strength improved, but the elongation of the blend reduced. No phase separations between PBAT and PLA were observed in the SEM pictures of the ternary blends, indicating limited miscibility between PBAT and PLA.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/3880
Date: 2012-08-27


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