Biodegradation of PP films modified with organic pro-degradant: natural ageing and biodegradation in soil in respirometric test

Document Type: Original research

Authors

Laboratory of Polymeric Materials, Lapol, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS, Avenida Bento Gonçalves 9500, Porto Alegre, Brasil.

Abstract

In this study, PP films were modified with an organic pro-degradant in different concentrations (1, 2 and 3 wt.%), exposed in the first step of degradation to natural ageing for 100 days followed by biodegradation in simulated soil in the respirometric test for 100 days. At the end of the combined degradation process the PP samples were characterized according to their morphological and physical properties and the CO2 generated during the biodegradation in soil was monitored. The CO2 production by the PP films modified with the organic pro-degradant was proportional to the oxidation rate and weight loss of the samples. The reduction in the average viscosimetric molecular weight could be attributed to chain scission due to the weathering conditions to which the samples were exposed (natural ageing followed by biodegradation in soil). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the PP films revealed surface deterioration of the films with the organic pro-degradant after the combined degradation process.

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