Starch is one of the most common and easily obtained natural polymers, making it attractive as a potential bio-based alternative to synthetic polymers. This study shows that a simple quaternary ammonium salt combined with urea or glycols forms effective modifiers that produce flexible plastics with good mechanical properties that are comparable to some polyolefin plastics. The processing conditions are shown to significantly affect the structure of the polymer which has a concomitant effect upon the mechanical and physical properties of the resulting plastic. Using a glycerol based modifier results in a totally sustainable and biodegradable material which can be injection moulded.
Davis, S., Abbott, A. P., Abolibda, T., Emmerling, F., Wise, W., Lourdin, D., & Leroy, E. (2014). Glycol based plasticisers for salt modified starch. RSC Advances, 4, 40421-40427. https://doi.org/10.1039/C4RA06220E