Location: Bio-oils Research Unit
Title: Introduction of starch into plastic films: Advent of starch in plastic Authors
Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 24, 2011
Publication Date: April 4, 2012
Citation: Harry O Kuru, R.E., Gordon, S.H. 2012. Introduction of starch into plastic films: Advent of starch in plastic. In: Ahmed, J., Tiwari, B.K., Imam, S.H., and Rao, M.A., editors. Starch-based Polymeric Materials and Nanocomposites Chemistry, Processing and Applications. New York, NY: CRC Press. p. 231-238. Technical Abstract: Following the oil crises of the 1970’s, scientists started thinking of alternative sources of materials that are not so dependent on foreign supplies. Probably riding on this concern, in part, came Griffin’s idea for creating a matted surface on low density polyethylene (LDPE) films in order to improve writeability on such surfaces. To create such a surface, he inserted a small amount of granular starch in the formulation for the blown film. That idea sparked a concordant cord elsewhere with a bold attempt to blend a large amount of starch in the gelatinized form with LDPE. The road block to this construct was apparent incompatibility. So a plasticizing agent in ethylene-co-acrylic acid (EAA) was invited into the mix in order to realize the new concept. Thus was born the Otey technology of ternary starch-LDPE-EAA plastic films at the Northern Regional Research Center of the USDA. A later effort was to lower the cost of the ternary film by replacing EAA with appropriately derivatized starch. In this regard, it was found that alkyl starch ethers [O-butyl- and O-(2-hydroxybutyl starch)] were suitable and could replace EAA in the formulation without compromising performance of the film.