Comparison study of direct synthesis of bioplastics from fruit wastes and their polymer composite
Kee, Boon Shin
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Bioplastic is a biodegradable plastic that acts as an alternative to traditional synthetic plastics which caused a lot of environmental problems such as global warming. Bioplastics are produced from renewable sources such as cellulose and starch which can be decomposed into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass. Fruit wastes with high content of cellulose or starch can also act as a source to produce bioplastics. In this project, several fruit wastes had been selected, which were pineapple leaf, banana stem, and coconut husk, to form bioplastic films directly. The polymer composites from each fruit wastes were produced by reinforcement of the fruit wastes in polylactic acid (PLA) using trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) and hot press machine. Thus, the pure fruit waste films and their polymer composite films were compared according to their chemical, morphology and thermo-mechanical properties. There were several testing used to analyse the chemical, morphology and thermo-mechanical properties of bioplastic films, such as FTIR-ATR, XRD, SEM, AFM, TGA and Tensile machine (ASTM D882). By comparison between fruit waste films and their polymer composite films, polymer composite films had better properties compared to fruit waste films because they possessed a similar plastic characteristic as PLA such as better elongation i.e. 12.56% to 17.52% , tensile strength i.e. 0.2Mpa to 6.35Mpa, and thermal stability i.e. 7.51 ºC to 63.21 ºC. However, the method of producing the polymer composite films directly resulted in different characteristic of plastic. For instance, the polymer composite films formed by dissolving in TFA solution possessed a best quality bioplastic films in term of elongation whereas polymer composite films formed by hot press method produced a quality bioplastic in term of tensile strength and thermal stability.