|Cao, Xingxiang - BRADLEY UNIVERSITY|
|Wolf, Walter - RETIRED-USDA-ARS-NCAUR|
Submitted to: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 16, 1999
Publication Date: May 19, 2000
Interpretive Summary: It is estimated that there is a potential worldwide market of 30 million tons/year for biodegradable plastics with a market value worth U.S.$ 9 billion. The poly(hydroxy ester ether) as a derivative is a thermoplastic material with good barrier and mechanical properties as well as exceptional biodegradability. However, this resin is relatively expensive. Therefore, it could be blended with other bio-based materials such as polysaccharides and proteins. To achieve this end, one must better understand its physical properties. Static and dynamic light scattering techniques were utilized to derive the physical properties essential for blending this resin with other bio-based materials. Value-added bio-based, biodegradable materials generated from these findings should not only benefit the farmer but also scientists interested in developing thermoplastic materials with good barrier and mechanical properties.
Technical Abstract: Static and dynamic light scattering techniques were used to study the biodegradable thermoplastic poly(hydroxy ester ether) in N,N-dimethyl acetamide (DMAc). Weight average molecular weight MW = 6.4 x 10**4 g/mol, radius of gyration RG = 9.4 nm, 2**nd-virial coefficient A2 = 1.05 x 10**-3 mol ml/g**2, translational coefficient D = 1.34 x 10**-7 cm**2/s, and hydrodynamic radius RH = 8.3 nm, are reported. In addition, the effect of H2O on the polymer chain's conformation and architecture in DMAc/H2O solution is evaluated. Results suggest that H2O makes the mixed solvent poorer, as well as promotes polymer chain branching via intra-molecular transesterification.