Abiotic oxidation studies of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene

Reddy, M, Gupta, R, Gupta, R, Bhattacharya, S and Parthasarathy, R 2008, 'Abiotic oxidation studies of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene', Journal of Polymers and Environment, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 27-34.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Abiotic oxidation studies of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene
Author(s) Reddy, M
Gupta, R
Gupta, R
Bhattacharya, S
Parthasarathy, R
Year 2008
Journal name Journal of Polymers and Environment
Volume number 16
Issue number 1
Start page 27
End page 34
Total pages 7
Publisher Springer
Abstract The best approach to induce oxo-biodegradation in polyethylene is the use of special additives known as pro-oxidants. Pro-oxidants accelerate abiotic oxidation and subsequent polymer chain cleavage rendering the product apparently more susceptible to biodegradation. In this work, the abiotic oxidation is studied to understand how the addition of nanoclay affects the oxidation rate and the degradation mechanism of oxo-biodegradable polyethylene. In order to achieve this, the following materials were used in this study: (1) polyethylene (PE), (2) oxo-biodegradable polyethylene (OPE), (3) polyethylene nanocomposite (PENac), and (4) oxo-biodegradable polyethylene nanocomposite (OPENac). Wide-Angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) studies reveal that grafting in the preparation of composites helps to achieve mixed intercalated/exfoliated morphology in PENac and OPENac. Abiotic oxidation was carried out in an oven for a period of 14 days at 70 °C with air supply. The effect of abiotic oxidation was evaluated by measuring the changes in tensile strength, elongation at break, carbonyl index and molecular weight. Results show that OPE and OPENac are more susceptible to oxidation than PENac. The molecular weight distribution data obtained from GPC reveal that the addition of nanoclay does not alter the oxidation mechanism in OPE significantly.
Subject Polymers and Plastics
DOI - identifier 10.1007/s10924-008-0081-z
Copyright notice © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008
ISSN 1566-2543
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