Thermal and biodegradation properties of poly(lactic acid)/fertilizer/oil palm fibers blends biocomposites

Ahmad Saffian Harmaen, Abdan Khalina, Ibrahim Azowa, Mohammad A. Hassan, Asghar Tarmian, Mohammad Jawaid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and NPK fertilizer with empty fruit bunch (EFB) fibers were blends to produced bioplastic fertlizer (BpF) composites for slow release fertilizer. Thermal properties of BpF composites were investigated by thermogavimteric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and morphological and degradation properties were anlayzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), soil burial test, respectively. TGA themogram display that neat PLA, PLA/NPK, and BpF composites degradate at different temperatures. DSC curves of PLA and other composites exhibited same glass transition temperature (Tg) value indicating that both major blend components are miscible. The Tg, crystallization temperature (Tc), melting temperature (Tm) values also decreased with increased amount of fertilizer and fibers. The Tm of BpF composites did not change with an increase in fertilizer content because thermal stability of PLA and PLA/NPK composites was not affected. Soil burial and fungal degradation test of PLA, PLA/NPK, and BpF composites were also carried out. Soil burial studies indicated that BpF composites display better biodegradation as compared with neat NPK. Fungal degradation study indicated that fungi exposure times of BpF composites show higher value of degradation as compared with PLA/NPK. We attribute that developed BpF composites will help oil palm plantation industry to use it as slow release fertilizer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)576-583
Number of pages8
JournalPolymer Composites
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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