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International Journal of Polymer Science
Volume 2012, Article ID 297923, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/297923
Research Article

Increased Performance of Thermoplastic Packaging Materials by Using a Mild Oxidizing Biobased Additive

1SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Synthesis and Properties, P.O. 124 Blindern, 0314 Oslo, Norway
2SINTEF Materials and Chemistry, Synthesis and Properties, Høgskoleringen 5, 7491 Trondheim, Norway

Received 15 November 2011; Revised 14 January 2012; Accepted 14 January 2012

Academic Editor: Sarat Kumar Swain

Copyright © 2012 Ferdinand Männle et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Green additives such as prodegradants based on natural fatty acids and iron can improve the environmental profile of thermoplastic packaging materials. We present two studies in which this is demonstrated. In the first study, the addition of a green prodegradant to a 5-layer gas barrier laminate during processing provided a laminate with significantly reduced oxygen transmission due to the resulting oxygen-consuming degradation process. The result shows that material reduction and cost efficiency of packaging laminates can be combined, since 5-layer laminates with reduced oxygen barrier layer thickness and retained gas barrier properties are feasible. The products are interesting from an ecological and economic aspect. In the second study, the addition of a green prodegradant to several qualities of polypropylene that are used in packaging applications leads to materials that are readily degraded in accelerated weathering. The molecular weight of the modified polypropylenes after 830 hours of accelerated weathering is reduced from typically 80.000 g/mole to 1.500–2.500 g/mole. At such molecular weight levels, digestion by microorganisms is feasible. The mild prodegradant used in the study does not lead to degradation during processing. Thermoplastics containing such additives are therefore fully recyclable provided that they have not been exposed to a long period of weathering.