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Biodegradable Starch-Based Nano-Composites

  1. Fengwei Xie

Published Online: 15 SEP 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781118097298.weoc014

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites

How to Cite

Xie, F. 2011. Biodegradable Starch-Based Nano-Composites. Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites. 1–13.

Author Information

  1. The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2011


Compared to normal starch-based materials, starch nanocomposites have attracted much interest in the recent years due to the drastic improvements in the mechanical properties, thermal stability, flame retardant properties, gas barrier properties, and so on. There are three main types of nanofillers that have been frequently used to reinforce starch matrix, that is, starch nanocrystals/nanoparticles, cellulose nanowhiskers/nanofibers, and layered nanoclays. This article discusses these three types of biodegradable starch-based nanocomposite systems in terms of their formulation-processing-structure-properties relationships in detail. Layered nanoclays have been the most popular choice for preparing starch-based nanocomposites. Nanoclay surface chemistry, starch type (including amylose content) and chemical modification, and starch-plasticizer-nanofiller interactions during processing have to be considered in order to increase the intercalation/exfoliation of nanoclay in the starch matrix. It is revealed that the hydrophilicity difference between nanoclay and starch plays a dominant role in the nanostructural evolution. In addition, starch/biodegradable polymer/nanoclay multiphase nanocomposite system has been a popular choice for further improved properties. The renewability and biodegradability of starch-based nanocomposite materials justify its wide use as truly sustainable plastics.


  • starch;
  • nanocomposities;
  • blend;
  • starch nanocrystals;
  • starch nanoparticles;
  • cellulose nanowhiskers;
  • cellulose nanofibers;
  • layered nanoclays;
  • montmorillonite;
  • biodegradable polymers