Thermoplastic Starch Processing and Characteristics—A Review
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Canola Council of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada The rising costs of nonrenewable feedstocks and environmental concerns with their industrial usage have encouraged the study and development of renewable products, including thermoplastic starch (TPS). Starch is an abundant, plant-based biodegradable material with interesting physicochemical characteristics that can be exploited, and this has received attention for development of TPS products. Starch exhibits usable thermoplastic properties when plasticizers, elevated temperatures, and shear are present. The choice of plasticizer has an effect on TPS, even when these have similar plasticization principles. Most TPS have glass transition temperature, Tg, in the range of approximately -75 to 10°C. Glassy transition of TPS is detected by differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) and thermodynamic analyzer (DMA), although DMA has been found to be more sensitive and effective. TPS has low tensile properties, typically below 6 MPa in tensile strength (TS). The addition of synthetic polymers, nanoclay, and fiber can improve TS and water-resistance ability. The moisture sorption behavior of TPS is described in GAB and BET models, from which monolayer moisture content and specific area are derived. Current studies on surface tension, gas permeability, crystallinity, and so on of the TPS are also reviewed.
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