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Effect of Rice Husk Derived Nanosilica on the Structure, Properties and Biodegradability of Corn-Starch/LDPE Composites

Datta, Deepshikha, Halder, Gopinath
Journal of polymers and the environment 2019 v.27 no.4 pp. 710-727
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, biodegradability, biodegradation, deformation, edaphic factors, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, gardens, hardness, horticultural soils, mechanical properties, modulus of elasticity, nanomaterials, polyethylene, porous media, production costs, rice hulls, scanning electron microscopy, silica, starch, surface area, thermogravimetry, transmission electron microscopy, vegetable residues, weight loss
Development of material with enhanced mechanical properties and biodegradability by the incorporation of synthesized inorganic nanostructured mesoporous silica from rice husk has been investigated. The produced nanosilica (≈ 25 nm and 213.045 m²/g surface area) and nanosilica blended LDPE/starch composites were extensively characterised by SEM, FTIR, XRD, XRF, TEM, EDAX and TGA analysis. The low cost of production estimated, ensures its feasibility toward large scale application. The addition of nanosilica into the matrix led to the enhancement of Young’s modulus and stiffness by a value of 535.6 MPa and 32172.81 N/m respectively at 3% nanosilica content, thereby enhancing the initial rigidity and resistivity towards deformation making a better biodegradable substitute in terms of initial application range. The MFI and hardness value also increased with increase of silica content upto 1.5% and 2% respectively to 7.23 g/10 min and 42 (Shor D). Increase in nanofiller content improved the value of degradation rate constant (k) of the weight loss data plot in both vegetable waste and garden soil environment. The addition of 1.5% of nanosilica to a blend of 80% LDPE and 20% starch showed almost the same biodegradation rate as that without nanosilica but with superior mechanical properties and applicability range.