Hydrolytic degradation of biodegradable poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) - Towards an understanding of microplastics fragmentation

Type Article
Date 2022-11
Language English
Author(s) Deshoulles Quentin1, 2, 3, Le Gall Maelenn1, Benali S.2, Raquez J-M.2, Dreanno CatherineORCID3, Arhant MaelORCID1, Priour DanielORCID1, Cerantola S.4, Stoclet G.5, Le Gac Pierre YvesORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Laboratoire Comportement des Structures en Mer, Ifremer, Centre de Bretagne, 29280 Plouzané, France
2 : Laboratory of Polymeric and Composite Materials (LPCM), Center of Innovation and Research in Materials and Polymers (CIRMAP), University of Mons, Place du Parc 23, B-7000 Mons, Belgium
3 : Laboratoire Détection Capteurs et Mesures, Ifremer, Centre de Bretagne, 29280 Plouzané, France
4 : Plateforme RMN-RPE, Service Général des Plateformes, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, 6 av. le Gorgeu, CS93837, 29238, Brest cedex 3, France
5 : Univ. Lille, CNRS, INRAE, Centrale Lille, UMR 8207 - UMET - Unité Matériaux et Transformations, F-59000 Lille, France
Source Polymer Degradation And Stability (0141-3910) (Elsevier BV), 2022-11 , Vol. 205 , P. 110122 (9p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2022.110122
WOS© Times Cited 10
Keyword(s) Hydrolysis, PBAT, Molar mass, Embrittlement, Biodegradable, Microplastics

The long-term behaviour of PBAT subjected to hydrolytic ageing is investigated in this paper. Samples were aged in water at several temperatures ranging from 80 to 100°C for different durations. Changes in physico-chemical properties were investigated through NMR, GPC, DSC and X-Ray analyses and embrittlement was assessed by tensile tests. It is demonstrated that hydrolysis of PBAT occurs first on the ester group located between the terephthalate and adipate groups leading to a decrease in molar mass. For longer ageing durations, the ester situated within the adipate group undergoes hydrolysis. An increase in crystallinity ratio and a decrease in amorphous layer thickness was observed as consequences of the chain scission process. Finally, a clear change in mechanical behaviour is noted; for the early stages of ageing, the polymer exhibits a ductile behaviour while for longer ageing durations, the polymer is brittle due to a lack of chain entanglement. This transition takes place once the molar mass of PBAT falls below 11 kg/mol, i.e. when a critical molar mass M’c is reached.

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Deshoulles Quentin, Le Gall Maelenn, Benali S., Raquez J-M., Dreanno Catherine, Arhant Mael, Priour Daniel, Cerantola S., Stoclet G., Le Gac Pierre Yves (2022). Hydrolytic degradation of biodegradable poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) - Towards an understanding of microplastics fragmentation. Polymer Degradation And Stability, 205, 110122 (9p.). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2022.110122 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00791/90276/