Pyrolysis Kinetic Study of Polylactic Acid
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable polymer and is mainly used in the textile and food packaging fields. The aim of this work is to build knowledge on the kinetics of the pyrolysis of PLA with the help of thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) using four model-free methods, namely Friedman, Flynn&ndash;Wall&ndash;Qzawa (FWO), Kissinger&ndash;Akahira&ndash;Sunose (KAS), and Starink. Additionally, two model-fitting methods (the Coats&ndash;Redfern and Criado methods) were applied. TGA data at 5, 10, 20, and 30 K/min heating rates were collected. The obtained activation energies of the pyrolysis of PLA at different conversions by the model-free models were in good agreement and the average values were 97, 109, 104, and 104 kJ/mol for Friedman, FWO, KAS, and Starink, respectively. The Criado model was used together with the Coats&ndash;Redfern model to identify the most appropriate reaction mechanism. As per this work, the best controlling reaction mechanism of the PLA pyrolysis can be expressed by the geometrical contraction model (R2).