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Binnaz Coskunkan and Sinem Erkmen
Tisan Muhendislik Plastikleri, Turkey
Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Phys Chem Biophys
The interest in alternative bio-based polymers to petroleum-derived polymers is increasing day by day due to the increasing difficulty of waste management, depleted petroleum resources, and increasing environmental pollution. Bio-based polymers are synthesized using, e.g., carbohydrates of vegetable origin, or fatty acids, supported by biological, chemical and/or physical processes. Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) is one of the leading biopolymers in the developing bioplastic market with the best availability, the most attractive cost structure and excellent mechanical properties. However, the disadvantages of PLA, such as high brittleness, high hardness and low impact strength. Especially, low impact strength of PLA limits its application area. Compounding PLA with other polymers that had high impact resistance is one of the most effective solutions for improving properties of PLA without compromising its biodegradability. The aim of our project is to overcome brittleness and low impact strength of neat PLA. That's why PLA has been compounded with PBAT (Poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate)) due to it is a flexible and tough bio- based polymer. When PLA and PBAT are compounded, the observed that the interfacial compatibility between PLA and PBAT is poor. The immiscibility of PLA and PBAT negatively affects the expected improvement of impact strength. For this reason, compatibilizer is necessary in PLA/ PBAT compounded to improve the phase interface affinity of PLA and PBAT. PLA-g-MAH used as compatibilizer in this project to improve the interfacial compatibility between PLA and PBAT. The mechanical properties such as tensile strength, izod impact strength, and tensile modulus are investigated. Izod impact strength of neat PLA increased 45% approximately without compatibilizer and 64% with compatibilizer. The increase in the izod impact strength values means that the fragility decreases. The tensile strength values of neat PLA and compound PLA were compared, it was observed that the tensile strength value decreased 25%.
Binnaz Coskunkan started to work as a research and development specialist in Tisan Engineering Plastics since 2016. She graduated from chemical engineering in Yeditepe University. She had her PhD in chemical engineering in Yeditepe University with the title of her thesis Biological Activities of Levan- Based Polymers: In Silico Approach in 2017. Biopolymers are hers special interest therefore she started the project which includes developing bio-based compounds to be used in industry.