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Bio-Based Poly(butylene succinate)/Microcrystalline Cellulose/Nanofibrillated Cellulose-Based Sustainable Polymer Composites: Thermo-Mechanical and Biodegradation Studies

Biodegradable polymer composites from renewable resources are the next-generation of wood-like materials and are crucial for the development of various industries to meet sustainability goals. Functional applications like packaging, medicine, automotive, construction and sustainable housing are just some that would greatly benefit. Some of the existing industries, like wood plastic composites, already encompass given examples but are dominated by fossil-based polymers that are unsustainable. Thus, there is a background to bring a new perspective approach for the combination of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) fillers in bio-based poly (butylene succinate) matrix (PBS). MCC, NFC and MCC/NFC filler total loading at 40 wt % was used to obtain more insights for wood-like composite applications. The ability to tailor the biodegradable characteristics and the mechanical properties of PBS composites is indispensable for extended applications. Five compositions have been prepared with MCC and NFC fillers using melt blending approach. Young’s modulus in tensile test mode and storage modulus at 20 °C in thermo-mechanical analysis have increased about two-fold. Thermal degradation temperature was increased by approximately 60 °C compared to MCC and NFC. Additionally, to estimate the compatibility of the components and morphology of the composite’s SEM analysis was performed for fractured surfaces. The contact angle measurements testified the developed matrix interphase. Differential scanning calorimetry evidenced the trans-crystallization of the polymer after filler incorporation; the crystallization temperature shifted to the higher temperature region. The MCC has a stronger effect on the crystallinity degree than NFC filler. PBS disintegrated under composting conditions in a period of 75 days. The NFC/MCC addition facilitated the specimens’ decomposition rate up to 60 days

Publication date: 30/06/2020

Author: Oskars Platnieks

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym12071472

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.