Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 26, Issue 7, pp 3017–3033 | Cite as

Effect of Gamma Irradiation on Fully Aliphatic Poly(Propylene/Neopentyl Cyclohexanedicarboxylate) Random Copolymers

  • M. Negrin
  • E. Macerata
  • G. Consolati
  • F. Quasso
  • A. Lucotti
  • M. Tommasini
  • L. Genovese
  • M. Soccio
  • N. Lotti
  • M. Mariani
Original Paper


The widespread use of conventional petrochemical-based plastics and their low biodegradability led to a growing pollution issue. Among the class of the aliphatic polyesters, poly(propylene/neopentyl cyclohexanedicarboxylate) [P(PCExNCEy)] random copolymers combine promising physical–chemical properties and biodegradability features but they are characterized by slow degradability. The effect of gamma radiation on both chemical-physical properties and compostability was evaluated by several techniques on different samples irradiated in air at absorbed doses up to 500 kGy and in water or under oxidative atmosphere up to 100 kGy. According to the results obtained, exposure to radiation significantly affects polymer molecular weight and hydrophilicity, while crystallinity remains unaltered and biodegradability is only slightly influenced. In particular, among the different irradiation environments used, irradiation in water seems to favor the polymer degradation in compost.


Aliphatic polyesters Random copolymers 1,4-Cyclohexanedicarboxylic acid Gamma irradiation Compostability 



Authors would like to thank Prof. Antonio Faucitano for the fruitful discussion on the radiolytic degradation mechanisms of the system under study. The authors are grateful to Gammatom S.r.l. for the precious support in the irradiation experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Negrin
    • 1
  • E. Macerata
    • 1
  • G. Consolati
    • 2
  • F. Quasso
    • 2
  • A. Lucotti
    • 3
  • M. Tommasini
    • 3
  • L. Genovese
    • 4
  • M. Soccio
    • 4
  • N. Lotti
    • 4
  • M. Mariani
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnergyPolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Aerospace Science and TechnologyPolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, Material and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta”Politecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly
  4. 4.Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials EngineeringUniversità di BolognaBolognaItaly

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