A New Green Composite Based on Plasticized Polylactic Acid Mixed with Date Palm Waste for Single‐Use Plastics Applications

Noran Mousa, Emmanuel Galiwango, Sabeera Haris, Ali H. Al‐marzouqi, Basim Abu‐jdayil, Yousuf L. Caires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Petroleum‐based plastic is widely used in almost all fields. However, it causes serious threats to the environment owing to its non‐biodegradable properties, which necessitates finding biodegradable alternatives. Here, date palm rachis (DPR) waste was used as a filler (30, 40, and 50 wt%) to form a biodegradable composite with polylactic acid (PLA) and achieve cost–performance balance. DPR–PLA composites were prepared using a melt‐mixing extruder at 180 °C by varying mixing time, DPR composition, and plasticizer type and composition. The biodegradable testing specimens were prepared by compression molding and analyzed using physical, thermal, and mechanical characterizations. Scanning electron microscopy images indicated a uniform dispersion of DPR (90 μm) in the PLA matrix. The esterification reaction resulting from this interaction between DPR and PLA was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The 30 wt% DPR–PLA composite was considered the optimal composite with the lowest melt flow index (16 g/10 min). This work confirmed the superior effect of addition of 10 wt% of triethyl citrate (TEC) compared with polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) by the improvement in the elongation at break of the optimal composite from 2.10% to 4.20%. Moreover, the addition of 10 wt% of PBAT to the optimal composite resulted in a lower tensile strength (21.80 MPa) than that of the composite with 10 wt% of TEC (33.20 MPa). These results show the potential of using the proposed composite as an alternative material for single‐use plastics such as cutlery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number574
JournalPolymers
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2022

Keywords

  • Biodegradable
  • Date palm waste
  • Green composites
  • PBAT
  • PLA
  • Single‐use plastics
  • TEC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics

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