Salt modified starch: Sustainable, recyclable plastics

Andrew P Abbott, Andrew Ballantyne, Jesus Palenzuela, Karl S Ryder, Will Wise

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The ubiquitous nature of starch makes it a tantalising basis of sustainable plastic manufacture. Extensive hydrogen bonding between chains, however, makes the plasticisation of starch difficult but this work shows that the incorporation of a simple quaternary ammonium salt can lead to a flexible plastic with mechanical properties similar to oil derived plastics. Compression-moulding produces a transparent material with mechanical strength which is similar to some polyolefin plastics. It is shown that the material can be extruded and/or compression-moulded and these processes improve further the mechanical strength of the samples. Most importantly, it is shown that these plastics are recyclable and ultimately compostable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1302-1307
Number of pages6
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number05
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


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