J. Gonzalez-Gutierrez, P. Partal, M. Garcia-Morales, C. Gallegos
Departamento de Ingeniería Química, Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Campus El Carmen, Universidad de Huelva, 21071 Huelva, Spain.
Striving to achieve cost-competitive biomass-derived materials for the plastics industry, the incorporation of starch (corn and potato) to a base formulation of albumen and glycerol was considered. To study the effects of formulation and processing, albumen/starch-based bioplastics containing 0–30 wt.% starch were prepared by thermo-plastic and thermo-mechanical processing. Transmittance measurements, DSC, DMTA and tensile tests were performed on the resulting bioplastics. Optical and tensile properties were strongly affected by starch concentration. However, DMTA at low deformation proved to be insensitive to starch addition. Thermo-mechanical processing led to transparent albumen/starch materials with values of strength at low deformation comparable to commodity plastics. Consequently, albumen biopolymers may become a biodegradable alternative to oil-derived plastics for manufacturing transparent packaging and other plastic stuffs.