NC State
BioResources
Yaacob, N. D., Ismail, H., and Sung Ting, S. (2016). "Soil burial of polylactic acid/paddy straw powder biocomposite," BioRes. 11(1), 1255-1269.

Abstract

The objective of this work was to study the biodegradability of polylactic acid (PLA)/paddy straw powder (PSP) biocomposites. Environmental degradation was evaluated by composting the biocomposite samples into the soil. Different techniques, including mechanical tests and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), were used to obtain a view of the degradation that occurred during the soil burial of the biocomposites. Results of the mechanical tests showed that an increasing content of PSP in the biocomposites decreased the tensile strength and elongation at break (EB), while it increased the modulus of elasticity after six months of exposure. Scanning electron microscopy on the surface after soil burial showed that the filler was poorly wetted by the matrix. This explains the reduction in tensile strength and the elongation at break after soil burial. Differential scanning calorimetry results indicated that the crystallinity of the biocomposites increased with longer composting periods.
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