New biomaterials for packaging: a green approach to biopolymers and biocomposites

Vannini, Micaela (2024) New biomaterials for packaging: a green approach to biopolymers and biocomposites, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria civile, chimica, ambientale e dei materiali, 36 Ciclo.
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The impellent global environmental issues related to plastic materials can be addressed by following two different approaches: i) the development of synthetic strategies towards novel bio-based polymers, deriving from biomasses and thus identifiable as CO2-neutral materials, and ii) the development of new plastic materials, such as biocomposites, which are bio-based and biodegradable and therefore able to counteract the accumulation of plastic waste. In this framework, this dissertation presents extensive research efforts have been devoted to the synthesis and characterization of polyesters based on various bio-based monomers, including ω-pentadecalactone, vanillic acid, 2,5-furan dicarboxylic acid, and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural. With the aim of achieving high molecular weight polyesters, different synthetic strategies have been used as melt polycondensation, enzymatic polymerization, ring-opening polymerization and chain extension reaction. In particular, poly(ethylene vanillate) (PEV), poly(ω-pentadecalactone) (PPDL), poly(ethylene vanillate-co-pentadecalactone) (P(EV-co-PDL)), poly(2-hydroxymethyl 5-furancarboxylate) (PHMF), poly(ethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate) (PEF) with different amount of diethylene glycol (DEG) unit amount, poly(propylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate) (PPF), poly(hexamethylene 2,5-furandicarboxylate), (PHF) have been prepared and extensively characterized. To improve the lacks of poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-valerate) (PHBV), its minimal formulations with natural additives and its blending with medium chain length PHAs (mcl-PHAs) have been tested. Additionally, this dissertation presents new biocomposites based on polylactic acid (PLA), poly(butylene succinate) (PBS), and PHBV, which are polymers both bio-based and biodegradable. To maintain their biodegradability only bio-fillers have been taken into account as reinforcing agents. Moreover, the commitment to sustainability has further limited the selection and led to the exclusive use of agricultural waste as fillers. Detailly, biocomposites have been obtained and discussed by using the following materials: PLA and agro-wastes like tree pruning, potato peels, and hay leftovers; PBS and exhausted non-compliant coffee green beans; PHBV and industrial starch extraction residues.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Vannini, Micaela
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Polymer synthesis; Bio-based materials; Biocomposites; Circular Economy
Data di discussione
15 Marzo 2024

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