In-Compost Biodegradation of PLA Nonwovens
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Presented in this work are the results of an investigation into the biodegradation of selected nonwoven materials made of commercial poly[(DL)-lactide] – PLA 6252D supplied by Nature Works® LLC, USA. The biodegradation was examined under laboratory conditions, simulating composting by the mass-loss method at constant process parameters: temperature t = 58 ± 2 °C, pH 7 and inoculum humidity W = 52.6%. The nonwovens examined, with a surface density of about 60 g/m2, revealed a varied crystallinity degree in the range of 10.4 - 35.6% and fibre diameter of 8.2 - 10.9 μm. The nonwovens were formed by the spun-bond method from a melt at 211 - 213 °C on a laboratory stand. The commercial PLA 6252D was also examined. The polymer PLA 6252D and nonwoven materials made thereof are entirely biodegradable in the research environment applied, and after 16 weeks of biodegradation weight loss in the materials reaches 100%.
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