Preparation and characterization of thermoplastic starch composite reinforced by plasma-treated poly (hydroxybutyrate) PHB

Jennifer Paola Florez, Mahyar Fazeli, Renata Antoun Simão

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


The present work aims to study the effect of the addition of poly (hydroxybutyrate) PHB as reinforcement in thermoplastic cornstarch (TPS) produced by the thermal compression molding method. Initially, the physical and chemical properties of TPS with different amounts of glycerol as the plasticizer (25, 30 and 35 wt%), are evaluated. Then, the composites, including 35% glycerol and different PHB contents (10, 20 and 30 wt%), are prepared. Additionally, the surface of the PHB granules is modified by plasma treatment using atmospheric air and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas. In order to evaluate the influence of the PHB contents before and after the plasma treatment, the composites are characterized by FTIR, TGA, DSC, XRD, SEM, and mechanical tests. SEM showed a homogeneous distribution of PHB granules in the TPS matrix. On the other hand, the micrographs of the composites, using the high concentration of plasma-treated PHB, showed the agglomerated particles in the starch matrix, which represented stress concentrators, and showed weak interfacial adhesion leading to the poor mechanical properties. The thermogravimetric analysis of the composites with PHB treated by plasma showed a higher thermal stability compared to the composites of TPS and untreated PHB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-621
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodegradable plastic
  • Plasma treatment
  • Starch biopolymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • General Energy


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