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Biorenewable nanocomposites

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 September 2011

Luc Avérous
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Engineering Polymers for High Technologies at the University of Strasbourg, France; luc.averous@unistra.fr
Eric Pollet
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Engineering Polymers for High Technologies at the University of Strasbourg, France; eric.pollet@unistra.fr
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Abstract

In recent years, bio-based products have been of great interest since sustainable development policies have tended to expand with decreasing reserves of fossil fuels and growing concerns for the environment. Consequently, biodegradable and renewable polymers have been the topic of significant research. These polymers can mainly be classified as agro-polymers (starch, chitosan) and biopolyesters (polyhydroxyalkanoates, poly(lactic acid)). Unfortunately, for certain applications, these bio-based polymers cannot be fully competitive with conventional thermoplastics since some of their properties are too weak. Therefore, to extend the range of their applications, current bio-based polymers have to be reformulated. Some of the most promising are nano-biocomposites, where nano-sized fillers are dispersed into a biopolymer matrix, which could yield a range of improved properties (stiffness, permeability). This article reports the most recent developments in renewable nano-biocomposites based on the use of nanoclay fillers.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2011

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