Environmental Degradation of Ramie Fibre Reinforced Biocomposites
Katarzyna Krasowska1, Joanna Brzeska1, Maria Rutkowska1, Helena Janik2, Meyyarappallil Sadasivan Sreekala3, Koichi Goda4, Thomas Sabu5
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1Department of Chemistry and Industrial Commodity Science, Faculty of Business Administration and Commodity Science,
Gdynia Maritime University, Morska 83, 81-225 Gdynia, Poland
2Polymer Technology Department, Chemical Faculty, Gdansk University of Technology,
Narutowicza 11/12, 80-952 Gdańsk, Poland
3Department of Polymer Science and Rubber Technology, Cochin University of Science and Technology,
Cochin-22, Kerala, 682 022 - India
4Department of Mechanical Engineering, Yamaguchi University Tokiwadai,
Ube, Yamaguchi 755-8611, Japan
5School of Chemical Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University,
Priyadarshini Hills P.O, Kottayam, Kerala, 686 560 - India
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2010;19(5):937–945
The estimation of environmental degradability of different ramie fibre reinforced biocomposites in Baltic Sea water and in compost with activated sludge under natural conditions is the subject of this paper. The characteristic parameters of environments were monitored during incubation time and their influence on the rate of degradation of biocomposites was discussed.
The degradation processes of two kinds of biocomposites, ramie fibre/Ecoflex® and ramie fibre/cellulose nanofibre reinforced corn starch resin, were studied by macro- and microscopic observations of polymer surfaces, changes of weight, and tensile strength during incubation under natural conditions. The macro and microscopic observations and weight changes confirmed the decrease of the tensile strength both of the composites after incubation in compost and in sea water.
It was demonstrated that the biocomposites with natural fibre of ramie were degraded in compost faster than in sea water, due to different microbial communities. The ramie/Ecoflex® biocomposite was degraded more distinctly than ramie/cellulose nanofibre reinforced corn starch resin biocomposite in both natural environments.