International Science Index

3
10006410
High Strength, High Toughness Polyhydroxybutyrate-Co-Valerate Based Biocomposites
Abstract:
Biocomposites is a field that has gained much scientific attention due to the current substantial consumption of non-renewable resources and the environmentally harmful disposal methods required for traditional polymer composites. Research on natural fiber reinforced polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) has gained considerable momentum over the past decade. There is little work on PHAs reinforced with unidirectional (UD) natural fibers and little work on using epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) as a toughening agent for PHA-based biocomposites. In this work, we prepared polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate (PHBV) biocomposites reinforced with UD 30 wt.% flax fibers and evaluated the use of ENR with 50% epoxidation (ENR50) as a toughening agent for PHBV biocomposites. Quasi-unidirectional flax/PHBV composites were prepared by hand layup, powder impregnation followed by compression molding.  Toughening agents – polybutylene adiphate-co-terephthalate (PBAT) and ENR50 – were cryogenically ground into powder and mechanically mixed with main matrix PHBV to maintain the powder impregnation process. The tensile, flexural and impact properties of the biocomposites were measured and morphology of the composites examined using optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The UD biocomposites showed exceptionally high mechanical properties as compared to the results obtained previously where only short fibers have been used. The improved tensile and flexural properties were attributed to the continuous nature of the fiber reinforcement and the increased proportion of fibers in the loading direction. The improved impact properties were attributed to a larger surface area for fiber-matrix debonding and for subsequent sliding and fiber pull-out mechanisms to act on, allowing more energy to be absorbed. Coating cryogenically ground ENR50 particles with PHBV powder successfully inhibits the self-healing nature of ENR-50, preventing particles from coalescing and overcoming problems in mechanical mixing, compounding and molding. Cryogenic grinding, followed by powder impregnation and subsequent compression molding is an effective route to the production of high-mechanical-property biocomposites based on renewable resources for high-obsolescence applications such as plastic casings for consumer electronics.
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824
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2
10001172
Large Scale Production of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) from Wastewater: A Study of Techno-Economics, Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Abstract:

The biodegradable family of polymers polyhydroxyalkanoates is an interesting substitute for convectional fossil-based plastics. However, the manufacturing and environmental impacts associated with their production via intracellular bacterial fermentation are strongly dependent on the raw material used and on energy consumption during the extraction process, limiting their potential for commercialization. Industrial wastewater is studied in this paper as a promising alternative feedstock for waste valorization. Based on results from laboratory and pilot-scale experiments, a conceptual process design, techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment are developed for the large-scale production of the most common type of polyhydroxyalkanoate, polyhydroxbutyrate. Intracellular polyhydroxybutyrate is obtained via fermentation of microbial community present in industrial wastewater and the downstream processing is based on chemical digestion with surfactant and hypochlorite. The economic potential and environmental performance results help identifying bottlenecks and best opportunities to scale-up the process prior to industrial implementation. The outcome of this research indicates that the fermentation of wastewater towards PHB presents advantages compared to traditional PHAs production from sugars because the null environmental burdens and financial costs of the raw material in the bioplastic production process. Nevertheless, process optimization is still required to compete with the petrochemicals counterparts.

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3815
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1
16662
Biodegradation of Polyhydroxybutyrate-Co- Hydroxyvalerate (PHBV) Blended with Natural Rubber in Soil Environment
Abstract:

According to synthetic plastics obtained from petroleum cause some environmental problems. Therefore, degradable plastics become widely used and studied for replacing the synthetic plastic waste. A biopolymer of poly hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV) is subgroups of a main kind of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Naturally, PHBV is hard, brittle and low flexible while natural rubber (NR) is high elastic latex. Then, they are blended and the biodegradation of the blended PHBV and NR films were examined in soil environment. The results showed that the degradation occurs predominantly in the bulk of the samples. The order of biodegradability was shown as follows: PHBV> PHBV/NR> NR. After biodegradation, the blended films were characterized by appearance analysis such as Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). It was found that the biodegradation mainly occurred at the polymer surface.

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3293
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