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Effects of Mould Temperature on Rice Bran-Based Bioplastics Obtained by Injection Moulding

The high production rate of conventional plastics and their low degradability result in severe environmental problems, such as plastic accumulation and some other related consequences. One alternative to these materials is the production of oil-free bioplastics, based on wastes from the agro-food industry, which are biodegradable. Not only is rice bran an abundant and non-expensive waste, but it is also attractive due to its high protein and starch content, which can be used as macromolecules for bioplastic production. The objective of this work was to develop rice-bran-based bioplastics by injection moulding. For this purpose, this raw material was mixed with a plasticizer (glycerol), analysing the effect of three mould temperatures (100, 130 and 150 °C) on the mechanical and microstructural properties and water absorption capacity of the final matrices. The obtained results show that rice bran is a suitable raw material for the development of bioplastics whose properties are strongly influenced by the processing conditions. Thus, higher temperatures produce stiffer and more resistant materials (Young’s modulus improves from 12 ± 7 MPa to 23 ± 6 and 33 ± 6 MPa when the temperature increases from 100 to 130 and 150 °C, respectively); however, these materials are highly compact and, consequently, their water absorption capacity diminishes. On the other hand, although lower mould temperatures lead to materials with lower mechanical properties, they exhibit a less compact structure, resulting in enhanced water absorption capacity.

Publication date: 27/01/2021

Author: María Alonso-González

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym13030398

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.