versão impressa ISSN 1794-1237
The use of polymeric materials has been increased due to their good properties and low cost. As a result, the amount of plastic that gets to landfills has increased until 30 %. As a solution to this problem, biodegradable polymers have been developed; and compared to synthetic polymers, they are degraded in the environment when exposed to certain conditions in a shorter period. One of the raw materials that is widely used in the manufacturing of biodegradable materials is starch. In this research study, the biodegradability of a polymer made of tapioca starch has been studied. To determine this, the polymer has been characterized and exposed to salt and fresh water, sunlight and a simulation of a landfill for a series of periods. To determine its biodegradability, percentage of mineralization was measured as well as changes in tensile properties, superficial morphology, IR absorption and weight loss depending on the type of environment. From the results it was found that the polymer is degraded by being subjected to simulated landfill, salt water and to a lesser extent in sunlight, while in fresh water it does not get degraded.
Palavras-chave : tapioca starch; biodegradable polymers; mineralization rate; TPS characterization.