Biodegration of Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) Composite Filled with Cellulose and Cellulose Acetate
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A comparative study was conducted for the biodegradation of low density polyethylene (LDPE) composites filled with cellulose (C) and cellulose acetate (CA). Composites were prepared with the content of each filler of 10% (by weight) using an extruder at processing temperature of 125°C. Biodegradation processes were done by burying in the soil and by hanging in an open environment for four months. The percentage of weight loss of pure LDPE and composites due to the degradation were observed based on the weight reduction of the composites and supported by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results indicated pure LDPE was not susceptible to microbial attack as the percentage of weight loss were constant. However, the composites filled with cellulose were relatively more susceptible to degradation as compared with composites filled cellulose acetate. Here, the percentage of weight loss of composites filled cellulose were higher than the composites filled cellulose acetate. On the other hand, the biodegradation processes by hanging in open environment were relatively faster than burying in soil for both types of composites. These results were confirmed by SEM which have shown some cavities.