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International Journal of Engineering Technology Science and Research

ISSN 2394 3386
Volume 2 Special Issue
March 2015


Rahul Sen*, N.C.Upadhayay**, Upender Pandel***
*Research Scholar **Associate Professor ***Professor
Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering
Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur- 302017, India
Conventional plastics are predominantly made from crude oil. When plastics made from petroleum
are burned in air, they release the carbon dioxide contained in the petroleum into the atmosphere,
leading to global warming. Most of the pollution in environment is from petroleum based plastics as
their wastes are toxic and non- degradable, directly affecting plants, animals and human beings.
These wastes are mostly of such plastic made items which are required for short span of time like
plastic bottles, plates, cups, spoons and other catering items. Recycling the plastics is always not the
great idea as it requires great effort in collection and even not all the plastic wastes are approachable
or fully recycled. Waste management and bio- degradation are important criterion. Material of items
should be made from waste products or from renewable resources, possess good mechanical strength
and after use, do not stuck in environment, get easily degrade. In this paper an attempt has been
made to develop biocomposite from starch and coconut waste (coir). The tensile strength, hardness,
density and absorptivity were examined at various proportions, which are directly linked with their
mechanical strength and bio- degradation characteristic. The SEM micrographs reveal the changes
on surface of biocomposite samples and tests show that with increase in fiber content mechanical
strength increases upto a limit and then decreases. Absorptivity and density increases with in fiber
content and could be utilized as material for catering items required for short span of time.
Keywords: bio- composite, bio- degradation, mechanical strength, starch, coconut waste or coir,
density, absorptivity
Plastic is versatile materials since the properties of
this material can be made to meet specific
demands by varying molecular weight distribution
and side chain branching. Petroleum based plastic
made items, create maximum pollution in the
environment, as they are not easily degradable,
highly inflammable, and relatively toxic. Bio
plastics (green plastics) and green composites
(Bio Composite = Bio Plastic + Bio Fibers) tends
proportional to degradation and have more


environment friendly processing. Bio plastics

have limited mechanical strength but composites
made by green-plastics and natural fibers are
having higher mechanical properties and good
decomposing characteristic. In this this study an
attempt has been made to develop biocomposite from corn starch and coconut fiber
also called coir, and studied the effect of
addition of fiber (0.25gm- 1.5gm) on strength
and biodegrading characteristics of bio-

Rahul Sen, N.C.Upadhayay, Upender Pandel

International Journal of Engineering Technology Science and Research

ISSN 2394 3386
Volume 2 Special Issue
March 2015

composite. First bioplastic made and then

coconut fibers were incorporated to increase
the strength. [1-4]
Classification of Polymers:
Polymers derived from renewable resources
(biopolymer) are generally classified in
three categories according to the method of
production as follows:
1.Polymers directly extracted/removed from
natural materials (mainly plants). Examples
are starch and cellulose and proteins such as
casein and wheat gluten etc
2.Polymers produced by microorganisms or
genetically transformed bacteria.
3.Polymers produced by classical chemical
monomers [5,6]
Starch as Bio Polymer
The Chemical formula of starch is (C6H10O5)n.
It is the main source of carbohydrate for
growing seeds and leaf tissue development and
is found in tubers, fruits, leaves, and seeds. The
length of the starch chain can vary with plant
sources but in general the average length is in
between 600-20,000 glucose units. There are
actually two types of starch molecules:
Amylose and Amylopectin. The difference
between these two starch molecules, is
molecular arrangement Amylose is necessarily
linear while amylopectin has many branches
like a tree shown in below figure 1.2

Figure 1.1 Schematic diagram of molecular

arrangement in starch molecule.[7]
Chemistry of Starch
Amylose: These molecules consist of single
mostly-un-branched chains with 600-20,000 Dglucose units depend on the source. Hydrogen
bonding between aligned chains causes to


releases some of the bound water and retro


Figure 1.3 Schematic diagram of Amylose

Amylopectin: it is formed by non-random 16
branching of the amylase type D-glucose

Figure1.2: Schematic diagram of Amylopectin

Varieties of Starch: Corn Starch, maize starch,
potato starch, rice starch, wheat starch soya
bean starch etc.
Corn Starch for Bioplastic: Corn starch has 25%
amylose and 75% amylopectin. The amylose
molecules loose lose water increase
biodegradation characteristic and amylopectin
molecule is responsible for plasticizer
properties.Their granule size ranges between 5 to
20 microns. i.e. good absorption capacity ,rapid
gel formation & good strength. It is easily
available and cheap in cost also.[8, 9]

Rahul Sen, N.C.Upadhayay, Upender Pandel

International Journal of Engineering Technology Science and Research

ISSN 2394 3386
Volume 2 Special Issue
March 2015

Experimental work
Corn starch, distilled water coconut fibers and
glycerin which works as natural plasticizer
were raw material for the experiment.
Composites were made by maintain constant
starch concentration and with varying fiber
concentration. Water (50ML) and glycerin
(3ML) concentration (50ml) kept remains same
for all samples. Composites containing 0.25,
0.5, 0.75, 1, 1.25, 1.5 gram weight of fibers,
Mechanism: The experiment mechanism can
be divided in two major parts: Gel formation &
Gel formation: Corn starch has 75%
amylopectin molecules which are responsible
for rapid gel formation properties during
heating. First when raw uncooked starch
granules heated in water, at that time these corn
starch granules absorb the water and become
large (swelling), due to which some amylose
molecules come out from ctarch granules and
get collapsed, here gelation and casting process
gets complete and on cooling collapsed
granules start compressing and starts coming
towards fibers and form a narrow junction. The
fibers get entrapped in these narrow junction
and are responsible for drying process of corn
starch based bioplastic and composite.

whereas starch was kept 10 gram by weight.

For Bio Polymer: Density of Bio Polymer is

1.003 g/cm3


Tensile Test
Tensile test of Corn starch based Bio
Polymer(Maximum stress 0.227MPa)
Coconut Hairs Bio Composite Samples Tensile
Test Graphs
Archimedes Principle Method
Calculation of density by the formula: Density
Ma x w
Here, Ma = Mass of sample weighted in air,
Mw = Mass of sample weighted in distilled
water for 1minute and w = Density of distilled
water at N.T.P = 0.99777 g/cm3


Rahul Sen, N.C.Upadhayay, Upender Pandel

International Journal of Engineering Technology Science and Research

ISSN 2394 3386
Volume 2 Special Issue
March 2015

Absorptivity (Capacity to Absorb) in
Water Measurement Test
Calculation of absorptivity can be done by
change in weight percentage method. For this,
put the sample in an electric oven kept to
remove the moisture content in it, measure the
weight of dry samples. Dip them afterwards in
the beaker containing distilled water for 24hrs
and then take them out and again weigh them.
Water Absorptivity (M %) of sample can be
calculated as :
Absorptivity, M % = (M1 M0) x 100
Here, M1 = Mass of dry sample in air in grams
M2 = Mass of water content sample in grams
M%= Absorptivity or Capacity to absorb in
distilled water
For Bio Polymer: Absorptivity or Capacity to
absorb water for Bio polymer is found to be
For Bio Composite

SEM: SEM examination conducted to
find out, the Surface Morphology of the
prepared samples.

Result and conclusion

Bioplastics (Green plastics) prepared from corn
starch by = 10gram starch+50 ML water+3 ML
glycerin, is found to have Tensile strength =
0.22MPa.Bio plastic have limited strength and
Bio Composite is prepared by in compositing Jute
fibers into Bio Plastic from 0.25g to 1.5g.

It is found that with increase in fiber percent,

strength of bio composite increases upto a
particular level then decreases with further
addition. It is due to the saturation of fibers and
increase of porosity in composite. SEM
Micrographs revels the presences of fibers into the
matrix, the fibers are embedded nicely into the


Rahul Sen, N.C.Upadhayay, Upender Pandel

International Journal of Engineering Technology Science and Research

ISSN 2394 3386
Volume 2 Special Issue
March 2015

matrix. Shows the surface is heterogeneous and

rough. At higher concentration of fibers into the
matrix, the fibers sprouting outside the surface of
the Bio Composite, shows the saturation of fibers
into the matrix. Absorptivity or Capacity to absorb
water for corn starch based Bio polymer is found
to be 42.78% and density of is found to be 1.003
g/cm3. Corn starch as well as the natural fibers
both are hydrophilic in nature, so the starch as
well as fibers absorb the water. With the increase
in percentage of fiber in the matrix- Absorptivity
increases and slightly density also increases. The
overall results show that the biocomposite has
higher mechanical strength than bioplastic and
good absorption characteristic , implies that it
could be utilized as material for catering items like
plates , cups, spoons etc. which are required for
short span of time, possess sufficient mechanical
strength and after use get easily degrade.
[1] McKeen. W .Laurence (2010), Introduction
to Plastics and Polymers,Permeability Properties
of Plastics and Elastomers (Third Edition), pp 2137
[2] Sperling, L. H., Introduction to Physical
Polymer Science , 2nd ed., JohnWiley and Sons,
New York (1992), 487.


[3] Iles.Alastair, Martin Abigail N.( 2010),

Expanding bioplastics production: sustainable
industry,Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol-3,
[4] Sarasa.J, Gracia.M.J, Javierre.C.(2009),
Study of the biodisintegration of a bioplastic
materialwaste, Bioresource Technology, vol.100,
No-15, pp. 3764-3768
[5]Claus J Weber Biobased Packaging Materials
for the Food Industry, report Directorate 12.
November 2000 ISBN 87-90504-07-0
[6] Bertolini. Andrea.( 2009), "Starches:
Characterization, Properties, and Applications",
Characterization of Starch, Starch biosynthetic
Genes and Protease Inhibitors Frommarama
Bean, Thsis of Phd, pp 31, 2014
[8] Maya J. John, Sabu, ThomasNatural
Polymers-Volume 2 (2001), chapter 7 , pp186.
[9] Kawaljit Singh Sandhu, Narpinder Singh
Some properties of corn starches II:
101(2007), pp 4.

Rahul Sen, N.C.Upadhayay, Upender Pandel