Biodegradable polymers offer a promising alternative to the global plastic problems and especially in the last decade, to the microplastics problems. For the first time, samples of poly(butylene succinate) (PBSu) biocomposites containing 1, 2.5, and 5 wt% biochar (BC) were prepared by in situ polymerization via the two-stage melt polycondensation procedure. BC was used as a filler for the PBSu to improve its mechanical properties, thermal transitions, and biodegradability. The structure of the synthesized polymers was examined by 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and X-Ray diffraction (XRD) along with an estimation of the molecular weights, while differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and light flash analysis (LFA) were also employed to record the thermal transitions and evaluate the thermal conductivity, respectively. It was found that the amount of BC does not affect the molecular weight of PBSu biocomposites. The fine dispersion of BC, as well as the increase in BC content in the polymeric matrix, significantly improves the tensile and impact strengths. The DSC analysis results showed that BC facilitates the crystallization of PBSu biocomposites. Due to the latter, a mild and systematic increase in thermal diffusivity and conductivity was recorded indicating that BC is a conductive material. The molecular mobility of PBSu, local and segmental, does not change significantly in the biocomposites, whereas the BC seems to cause an increase in the overall dielectric permittivity. Finally, it was found that the enzymatic hydrolysis degradation rate of biocomposites increased with the increasing BC content.
|Publication status||Published - 20 Feb 2023|
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Biochar Pilot Scale Plant - Stage 3 (BIO)
Ondrej Masek (Manager)School of Geosciences