[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Poly(propylene carbonate)/poly(β-hydroxybutyrate-co-β-hydroxyvalerate) (PPC/PHBV) blends were prepared via the solution casting method at different proportions. Their thermal characteristics were studied by means of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetry (TG). The degradability of the blends was investigated in soil suspension cultivation and in vitro degradation testing. The changes of structure and molecular weight for blends were also studied by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and gel permeation chromatography (GPC) before and after degradation. Although the PPC/PHBV blends were immiscible, the addition of PHBV could improve the thermal stability of PPC. PHBV was degraded mainly by the action of microbial enzymes in the soil suspension, which biodegraded it more rapidly than PPC in a natural environment. PPC was degraded mainly by chemical hydrolysis and random hydrolytic scission of chains in the PBS solution in vitro, and degradation of PPC was more rapid than that of PHBV in a simulated physiological environment.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2009 · Polymer Degradation and Stability