Promising biodegradable composite derived from corn straw fiber and waste Polyethylene

Document Type : Original Article


1 Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, 11795 Cairo, Egypt.

2 Polymer Dept., National research centre

3 Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Division, National Research Centre, 33 El Behouth st.-Dokki, Giza, Egypt

4 Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, 11795 Cairo, Egypt

5 National institute standards


Many efforts have been done to overcome of the environmental pollution problems especially waste plastic materials. So, we try to go through this point of view via studying the availability of using waste agriculture material, represented as corn straw (MS), with waste polyethylene (W-PE) as main components to represent a biodegradable compound for agriculture uses. In this study incorporation of different ratios of MS (100 micron) (10-40%) and W-PE (45-75%) with weight ratios of (5%) for malic anhydride (MA), and each of bentonite (B), diammonium phosphate (DAP), hydrolyzed starch (HSt) and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) has been constructed. In other incorporations PVA is replaced by chitosan (Ch). Also another trail was done by replacing PVA and HSt with chitosan with weight ratio of (5%). The admixture components were formulated using Parbener mixer at temperature of 150oC, for 10 minutes, at shear rate of 30 rpm. The obtained compounds were subjected to biodegradability study using cellulase enzyme from fungal local isolate (Aspergillus oryzae) as well as commercial cellulase from Aspergillus niger (Sigma). Moreover, the compounds before and after biodegradation were characterized using FTIR, and SEM. The biodegradation studies, using cellulases from two different sources, showed that the presence of chitosan (5%) or chitosan (2.5%) with starch (2.5%) speed up the process of biodegradability with achievement of about 95% more other compounds without chitosan. This study verify two goals, firstly pollution prevention for waste plastic materials and secondly, biodegradable composites could be used in different applications.


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