Degradation of oxo-biodegradable rubber and its impact on ecosystem services

Cheng, Acga and Azhar, Natasya Nabilla Hairon and Abdullah, Rosazlin and Lee, Siang Yin and Ang, Desmond Teck-Chye (2023) Degradation of oxo-biodegradable rubber and its impact on ecosystem services. European Polymer Journal, 190. ISSN 0014-3057, DOI

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Rubber has become essential in everyday life, but the poor degradation rates of natural rubber products present an environmental challenge. This study focused on the development and characterization of oxo-biodegradable rubber by modifying vulcanized natural rubber (VNR) with pro-degradant additives (PDA) such as iron (III) stearate (VNR-FeSt) and cobalt (II) stearate (VNR-CoSt). No observable degradation of the PDA-incorporated latex films occurred during the preparation processes of the film which include rubber latex coagulant dip-ping and vulcanization. The addition of PDA also had minimal effects on the mechanical properties of the latex films. While latex VNR without PDA was relatively stable to oxidative degradation at 65 degrees C for eight weeks, the formation of carbonyl and hydroxyl functional groups in VNR-CoSt and VNR-FeSt indicate that the PDAs facil-itated oxidative degradation the rubber. VNR-CoSt and VNR-FeSt showed significantly greater decreases in weight and gel content than neat VNR, with CoSt being most effective for enhancing thermal oxidative degra-dation. Growth parameter analysis showed that the addition of oxo-biodegradable latex films to the soil had little effect on the nutrient content of spinach, in line with the soil analysis. These data support the promotion of oxo-biodegradable rubbers as a promising sustainable alternative to conventional rubbers, with the potential to aid in rubber waste management in the agriculture sector.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Universiti Malaya (GPF-085A-2020, GPF-085B-2020)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biodegradation; Pro-degradant additives; Spinach; Stearate salts; Vulcanized natural rubber
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Institute of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science > Department of Chemistry
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Office > Centre for Research in Biotechnology for Agriculture
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2023 03:00
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2023 03:00

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