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A Comprehensive Review on the Emerging Roles of Nanofillers and Plasticizers towards Sustainable Starch-Based Bioplastic Fabrication

Petroleum-based plastics are associated with environmental pollution problems owing to their non-biodegradable and toxic properties. In this context, renewable and biodegradable bioplastics possess great potential to replace petroleum-based plastics in mitigating these environmental issues. Fabrication of bioplastic films involves a delicate mixture of the film-forming agent, plasticizer and suitable solvent. The role of the plasticizer is to improve film flexibility, whereas the filler serves as a reinforcement medium. In recent years, much research attention has been shifted toward devising diverse methods for enhancing the performance of bioplastics, particularly in the utilization of environmentally benign nanoparticles to displace the conventional hazardous chemicals. Along this line, this paper presents the emergence of nanofillers and plasticizers utilized in bioplastic fabrication with a focus on starch-based bioplastics. This review paper not only highlights the influencing factors that affect the optical, mechanical and barrier properties of bioplastics, but also revolves around the proposed mechanism of starch-based bioplastic formation, which has rarely been reviewed in the current literature. To complete the review, prospects and challenges in bioplastic fabrication are also highlighted in order to align with the concept of the circular bioplastic economy and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Publication date: 10/02/2022

Author: Shiou Xuan Tan

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14040664

MDPI (polymers)


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