Sangeetha V.H.,Center for Biopolymer Science and Technology Kochi 683501Kerala India |
Deka H.,Center for Biopolymer Science and Technology Kochi 683501Kerala India |
Varghese T.O.,Center for Biopolymer Science and Technology Kochi 683501Kerala India |
Polymer Composites | Year: 2016
The finite availability of petroleum and environmental considerations has given emphasis on the development of raw materials for polymers from renewable resources. Polymers from renewable resources are expected to gain great momentum nowadays as petroleum resources become less secure. The use of biopolymer blends and composites can bring out a revolution in the field of automobile, pharmaceutical, packaging industry, etc. Poly(lactic acid) or polylactide (PLA) is the most extensively researched and utilized biodegradable and renewable thermoplastic polyester, with a potential to replace conventional petrochemical-based polymers. Besides its relatively high tensile strength and modulus compared to other thermoplastics such as polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene, the low impact strength and less heat tolerance of the material makes it inadequate for more demanding applications. It is the most promising material for the production of environment friendly high performance products. It is proven to be superior to conventional plastics in terms of energy consumption and carbon dioxide emission in life cycle analysis. The general purpose of this review is to introduce PLA, a compostable, biodegradable thermoplastic made from renewable sources and their blends. In the first part of this review, we briefly discuss the advantages, limitations, production methods of PLA. The second part, the major objective of this paper, focuses on the various toughening modification of PLA and also about PLA based green composites using natural fibers and agricultural residues. It also highlights the major research progress and strategies applied to improve the brittleness of polylactic acid. © 2016 Society of Plastics Engineers.