AbstractThe effects of the plasticizer 1,2-cyclohexane dicarboxylic acid diisononyl ester (Hexamoll® DINCH) on the thermal stability and degradation of poly (lactic acid) were investigated and compared with tributyl citrate and montmorillonite. A series of poly (lactic acid) composites were prepared via melt blending before being hot pressed into 0.3 mm films. Along with the increase of the content of MMT, the agglomeration degree rise and the MMT content for this study was determined. The addition of Hexamoll® DINCH could efficiently decrease the Tg of PLA and improve the crystallinity of poly (lactic acid) composites. The addition of DINCH or TBC could deteriorate the thermal stability of PLA composites. The addition of montmorillonite could improve the thermal stability of PLA/TBC and PLA/DINCH composites. The kinetic parameters including activation energy of decomposition (E), reaction order (n), and pre-exponential factor (lnA) of PLA/DINCH/MMT composites are 180.2 kJ/mol, 0.863, and 36.8, respectively by using Freeman-Carroll method.