Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are linear semicrystalline polyesters produced naturally by a wide range of microorganisms for carbon and energy storage. PHAs can be used as replacements for petroleum-based polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) in many industrial applications due to their biodegradability, excellent barrier, mechanical, and thermal properties. The overall industrial applications of PHAs are still very limited due to the high production cost and high stiffness and brittleness. Therefore, new novel cost-effective production method must be considered for the new generation of PHAs. One approach is based on using different type feedstocks and biowastes including food byproducts and industrial and manufacturing wastes, can lead to more competitive and cost-effective PHAs products. Modification of PHAs with different function groups such as carboxylic, hydroxyl, amine, epoxy, etc. is also a relatively new approach to create new functional materials with different industrial applications. In addition, blending PHA with biodegradable materials such as polylactide (PLA), poly(ϵ-caprolactone) (PCL), starch, and distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) is another approach to address the drawbacks of PHAs and will be summarized in this chapter. A series of compatibilizers with different architectures were successfully synthesized and used to improve the compatibility and interfacial adhesion between PHAs and PCL. Finer morphology and significantly improvement in the mechanical properties of PHA/PCL blends were observed with a certain type of block compatibilizer. In addition, the improvement in the blend morphology and mechanical properties were found to be strongly influenced by the compatibilizer architecture.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)