COMPARATIVE STUDY ON DEGRADATION OF POLYLACTIC ACID/ SYZYGIUM AROMATICUM COMPOSITES AGEING IN OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT AND SOIL BURIAL

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.31436/iiumej.v23i1.2138

Keywords:

Degradation, Virgin PLA, Recycled PLA, Natural Weathering, Soil Burial

Abstract

Major environmental problems resulting from non-degradable components of plastic wastes have awakened great attention to bioplastic as an alternative material. Among various bioplastic materials, polylactic acid (PLA) is recognised as a promising material especially as a food packaging material. The development of PLA composites using various fillers has extensively been in focus in order to preserve the high quality, safety, and extended shelf-life of packed food. Among the interesting fillers is Syzygium aromaticum (SA). SA, also known as clove, has biological activities such as antibacterial, antifungal, insecticidal, and antioxidant properties. This work investigated the effects of SA filler on the degradations of virgin PLA (VPLA) and recycled PLA (RPLA). The VPLA/SA composites and RPLA/SA composites were prepared using the solvent casting method. The content of SA filler varied in the range of 0 to 20 wt%. The composites were aged in outdoor environment and soil burial. The results revealed that the degradation rate was increased with the increase of SA filler in both ageing environments. After 10 weeks of ageing in the outdoor environment, the weight loss of VPLA/SA composites and RPLA/SA composites containing 20 wt% of SA were 7.7% and 12.8% respectively. Whereas in soil burial, the weight loss of VPLA/SA composites and RPLA/SA composites with similar SA content were 25.6% and 38.3% respectively. The degradation rate was observed to be more rapid in the soil burial as compared to the outdoor environment. Comparably, RPLA and RPLA/SA composites experienced higher degradation rates than VPLA and VPLA/SA composites. The degradation rate was consistent with scanning electron microscope (SEM) images which observed the formation of holes, cavities, cleavages, and grooves on the surfaces of the samples. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) results on aged samples showed that VPLA/SA composites and RPLA/SA composites that had aged in soil burial decomposed at lower temperatures. The shortening of degradation time of the VPLA/SA composites and RPLA/SA composites could increase their potential to be used as food packaging materials.

ABSTRAK: Masalah utama terhadap alam sekitar yang disebabkan oleh sisa plastik yang sukar terurai, telah menarik perhatian terhadap bioplastik sebagai bahan alternatif. Di antara pelbagai jenis bahan bioplastik sedia ada, asid polilaktik(PLA) dilihat sebagai bahan yang paling sesuai terutamanya sebagai bahan pembungkusan makanan. Perkembangan di dalam penghasilan komposit asid polilaktik yang ditambah dengan pelbagai bahan pengisi telah menjadi fokus terutamanya bagi tujuan meningkatkan kualiti, kesegaran dan jangka hayat makanan. Salah satu pengisi yang mendapat perhatian adalah Syzygium aromaticum (SA). SA yang juga dikenali sebagai bunga cengkeh mempunyai aktiviti biologi, seperti sifat antibakteria, antijamur, racun serangga dan antioksidan yang tinggi. Didalam kajian ini, siasatan terhadap kesan penambahan SA terhadap penguraian PLA asal (VPLA) dan PLA kitar semula (VPLA). Komposit VPLA/SA dan komposit RPLA/SA disediakan dengan menggunakan kaedah pelarutan pelarut. Kandungan pengisi SA adalah didalam julat 0 – 20% mengikut berat. Komposit tersebut dibiarkan menua didalam persekitaran luaran dan didalam tanah. Keputusan kajian mendapati bahawa kadar penguraian semakin meningkat dengan penambahan peratus berat bahan pengisi SA setelah melalui penuaan didalam kedua-dua persekitaran. Setelah penuaan selama10 minggu di dalam persekiran luaran, pengurang berat komposit VPLA/SA dan komposit RPLA/SA yang mengandungi 20 wt% SA adalah 7.7% dan 12.8%. Manakala bagi penuaan didalam tanah, pengurangan berat komposit VPLA/SA dan komposit RPLA/SA dengan kandungan SA yang sama masing-masing adalah 25.6% dan 38.3%. Kadar penguraian diperhatikan lebih cepat bagi penuan didalam tanah dibandingkan dengan penuaan didalam persekitaran luaran.  Disamping itu, RPLA dan komposit RPLA/SA mengalami kadar penguraian yang lebih tinggi berbanding VPLA dan komposit VPLA/SA. Kadar penguraian adalah konsisten dengan imej yang dihasilkan oleh imbasan mikroskop elektron (SEM) dimana dapat dilihat pembentukan lubang, rongga, pembelahan dan alur di permukaan sampel. Hasil analisis termogravimetri (TGA) terhadap sampel yang telah dituakan menunjukkan bahawa komposit VPLA/SA dan komposit RPLA/SA yang melalui penuaan didalam tanah terurai pada suhu yang lebih rendah. Tempoh penguraian komposit VPLA/SA dan komposit RPLA/SA yang lebih pendek ini meningkatkan potensi penggunaannya komposit ini sebagai bahan pembungkusan makanan.

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Published

2022-01-04

How to Cite

Budin, S., Che Maideen, N. ., Koay, M. H., Yusoff, H. ., & Ghafar, H. (2022). COMPARATIVE STUDY ON DEGRADATION OF POLYLACTIC ACID/ SYZYGIUM AROMATICUM COMPOSITES AGEING IN OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT AND SOIL BURIAL. IIUM Engineering Journal, 23(1), 396–411. https://doi.org/10.31436/iiumej.v23i1.2138

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Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering