Oxo-Biodegradability of Polyethylene Blends with Starch, Cellulose and Synthetic Additives

Anna Koroleva, Maria Huebner, Yulia Lukanina, Anatoliy Khvatov, Anatoliy Popov and Tatiana Monakhova

Polyethylene (PE) is a pollutant packaging and mulch material. Therefore, it is necessary to raise its oxo-biodegradability by additives. Oxo-biodegradation is the degradation of PE in two steps: oxidation followed by microorganisms biodegradation. In this study, starch and cellulose are compared with synthetic additives. The results reveal that starch and cellulose cannot increase oxygen absorption and oxygenation as good as synthetic additives. However, they increase water absorption and make the surface of the bulk polymer more porous. Hence, the blends with starch and cellulose can be attacked more easily by microorganisms.

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