Biocomposites based on plasticized starch



The potential of biodegradable polymers, and more particularly that of polymers obtained from agro resources, such as polysaccharides like starch, has long been recognized. This paper examines the effects of sustainable materials based on starch on the macro or nanostructure and subsequent processing, thermomechanical properties and performance properties of plasticized starch polymers. This examination includes a detailed review of the complexity of starch polymers, recent advances in novel starch modifications and compounds, and a detailed examination of the effects of plasticized starch macro-biocomposites and nano-biocomposites. Specific structures and subsequent properties are controlled by many specific factors, such as filler shape, size and surface chemistry, processing conditions and environmental aging. In the case of nano-biocomposites, it is evident that nanomaterials polymer matrix interfacial interactions are extremely important to the final nanostructures and performance of these materials. © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd