The effect of sepiolite on the compatibilization of polyethylene–thermoplastic starch blends for environmentally friendly films
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Green polyethylene is a new and attracting polymer from biobased resources (sugarcane) and identical properties to petroleum-based polyethylene. Its potential in the packaging industry is really promising. In this work, we report the use of different compatibilizer systems for green polyethylene (from sugarcane) and thermoplastic starch (30 wt% TPS) in order to increase ductile mechanical properties and biodegradable content. Typical petroleum-based graft copolymer of polyethylene with maleic anhydride (PE-g-MA) is used as reference compatibilizer, and new compatibilizer systems are developed using sepiolite. The obtained results show that sepiolite-based compatibilizers provide good compatibilization properties as observed by a remarkable increase in elongation at break and a noticeable size reduction of the TPS domains dispersed in the green polyethylene matrix as observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
KeywordsLDPE Carbon Footprint Sepiolite Compatibilizing Effect Maleic Anhydride
This study has been funded by the “Conselleria d’Educació, Cultura i Esport”—Generalitat Valenciana (Reference number: GV/2014/008). Authors thank Tolsa S.A for kindly supply sepiolite for this study and Microscopy Services at UPV for helping in using SEM and TEM techniques.
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