Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 2049–2060 | Cite as

Evaluation of Biodegradability of Potato Peel Powder Based Polyolefin Biocomposites

  • Vatsala Sugumaran
  • Haripada Bhunia
  • Anudeep K. NarulaEmail author
Original Paper


Solid waste accumulation due to synthetic polymer and polymer composites used in packaging is causing a major threat to human and wildlife. Biodegradation of plastics and biocomposites in environment is a viable solution to this problem and yet a complex phenomenon due to diversity and efficiency of microbial communities involved in attacking the various biocomposite materials. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the biodegradability of biocomposites prepared from potato-peel powder together with polypropylene (POPL/PP) or linear low density polyethylene (POPL/LLDPE) plus maleic anhydride grafted polyolefin compatibilizers. To achieve this, biodegradability tests were conducted according to ASTM D 5338 on the specimen samples for 45 days. The specimens were also analysed post-biodegradation using scanning electron microscope (SEM), thermogravimetric analyser (TGA) and direct scanning calorimeter (DSC) techniques to study the changes in morphology and thermal properties. Biocomposites with 40% (w/w) POPL filler in PP without compatibilizer showed maximum degradation upto 10%, while the LLDPE composites showed biodegradation upto 1%. Addition of compatibilizers reduced the biodegradability in the composites. The results were well corroborated by percentage weight loss in the test biocomposite specimens. Biodegradation in the biocomposites was shown to be dependent on POPL content.


Potatoes peel powder Polyolefins Composites Compatibilizers Biodegradation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vatsala Sugumaran
    • 1
    • 2
  • Haripada Bhunia
    • 3
  • Anudeep K. Narula
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.University School of Basic and Applied SciencesGuru Gobind Singh Indraprastha UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Research & Development CentreIndian Oil Corporation LimitedFaridabadIndia
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringThapar UniversityPatialaIndia

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