Potential Agricultural Mulch Films Based on Native and Phosphorylated Corn Starch With and Without Surface Functionalization with Chitosan
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In order to overcome the problem that represents the use of agricultural polyethylene-mulch films a bio-based and biodegradable alternative based on starch was proposed and evaluated. Starch phosphorylation followed by surface functionalization with chitosan was carried out in films made from corn (Zea mays) starch. The potential agricultural mulch films were manufactured from native and phosphorylated corn starch. The modification of the starch was made by means of two methodologies: wet chemistry by means of aqueous suspension method followed by extrusion and reactive extrusion in a single step. All film systems done were then obtained by thermo-molding. Thermal, barrier, mechanical and morphological characterization was carried out in order to evaluate the potential of these materials as agricultural mulches. The results suggested that the modification made on the starch and surface functionalization were not adequate to achieve the recommended properties for the agricultural usage. Phosphorylated starch films, however, showed adequate barrier and thermal properties, despite that their mechanical behavior still needs to be improved.
KeywordsCrosslinking Plasticulture Reactive extrusion (REx)
Authors acknowledge the help provided by B.S.Chem. Andres Torres Nicolini during the extrusion process.
This study was funded by the National Research Council (CONICET), the National University of Mar del Plata (UNMdP) and the National Agency of Scientific and Technological Promotion (ANPCyT), Nro 0008.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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