Green revolution: Chemical modifications of starch-based materials for sustainable plastic synthesis

Stephanie Yen Nee Kew *

Faculty of Engineering and Life Sciences, Universiti Selangor, 45500, Bestari Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Research Article
World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 2024, 22(03), 090–100
Article DOI: 10.30574/wjarr.2024.22.3.1674
Publication history: 
Received on 23 April 2024 revised on 02 June 2024; accepted on 04 June 2024
The pursuit of sustainable alternatives has become even more significant given the pressing global crisis associated with conventional petroleum-based plastics. Among the most promising polysaccharides, starch-based synthesized plastics have garnered a lot of attention owing to their abundance, cost-efficiency, and ability to offer a viable solution that complies with the tenets of the Green Revolution. However, their intrinsic shortcomings, such as low thermal stability and tensile strength, have underscored the need for the discovery of various modification strategies. In light of this, the present review offers insights into several types of chemical modifications, their effects on plastic properties, and the overall effectiveness of starch-based plastics as ecologically sound polymers. Through a systematic analysis of relevant literature, findings reveal that the properties of starch-based polymers are distinctly impacted by each modification method, showing varying efficacy. A feasible technique for achieving a high water absorption index in plastics may be enzymatic hydrolysis, but acidic modification could be better suited for improved moisture content and solubility. In terms of tensile strength, alkaline modification appears favorable; nonetheless, determining the optimal concentration is essential for attaining the highest tensile strength. Therefore, understanding the influences of these chemical modifications is vital to optimizing the development of greener plastics in materials science. Emerging approaches to modification were also laid out to revolutionize plastic properties by exploring new enzymes or alternative alkaline substances, fine-tuning process parameters, and innovating additive combinations, all of which are necessary for advancing the utility and practicality of modified plastics in diverse applications.  
Molecular Modification; Polysaccharide; Sustainable; Polymer; Fabrication
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