Physicomechanical Properties of Starch-Based Bioplastic Films

By Tender Pangilinan Ferolin (presenting author), Jhona D Gerona, Mariz Stella S. Sillada, Fonseca D. Baguio, Feby D. Orena, Antonio M. Basilio. S.J.

Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City, Philippines


Bioplastic films from modified pectin and silicified crystalline cellulose-reinforced corn starch are a promising replacement for commercial packaging plastic products. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic analyses showed the functional groups hydrogen-bonded hydroxyl groups, aliphatic hydrocarbon compounds, esterified carboxyl groups, free carboxyl groups, and C–O stretch indicate that pectin was successfully extracted. The tensile property test of the modified pectin film has a tensile strength of 18.5 MPa, percent elongation at break of 53.3%, and Young’s modulus of 46.0 MPa. These properties indicate that it is strong and flexible. The modified pectin film is within the range of acceptable tensile strength for commercial plastic wraps. On the other hand, corn starch reinforced with 6% silicified crystalline cellulose (SCC) utilizing silicon dioxide from rice hull ash and cellulose from banana pseudostem has improved mechanical properties compared to non-reinforced bioplastic. FTIR spectroscopic analyses of silicified crystalline cellulose spectrum indicate the presence of the silicon dioxide with peaks at 777.64 and 1083.92/cm. This can be attributed to the interaction of the silanol groups present in silicon dioxide with the crystalline cellulose via hydrogen bonding. The bioplastic film with 6% SCC provides a tensile strength of 26.67 MPa, elongation at break of 45.3%, and Young’s modulus of 114.16 MPa. Results show a stronger, more flexible, and a more stiff bioplastic. Its mechanical properties exhibited the qualities of commercial load-bearing plastic bags. Thus, these starch-based bioplastic films provide a more environment-friendly alternative to petroleum-based plastics.