Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2011, Vol. 84, No. 4, pp. 719−723.
Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2011.
Original Russian Text © V. Grazhulevichene, L. Augulis, M. Gumbite, V. Makarevichene, 2011, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, 2011, Vol. 84, No. 4,
AND POLYMERIC MATERIALS
Biodegradable Composites of Polyvinyl Alcohol
and Coproducts of Diesel Biofuel Production
V. Grazhulevichene, L. Augulis, M. Gumbite, and V. Makarevichene
Lithuanian Agricultural University, Kaunas, Lithuania
Kaunas Technological University, Kaunas, Lithuania
Received July 6, 2011
Abstract—Deformation-strength, sorption, and operation properties of composite materials made from polyvinyl
alcohol and coproducts of diesel biofuel production (rape-cake and glycerin) were studied with the aim to apply
them for agricultural needs.
In connection with oil reserve depletion searches for
its replacement by renewable vegetative materials are in
progress. This trend is observed both in the production of
plastics and in the energy sector. As a source of renewable
energy rape is widely applied, as its oil is the basic in-
gredient of biofuel production. Natural compounds serve
as a source of the production of biodecomposed plas-
tics. Cellulose, starch, alginates, pectines, proteins, and
gelatine are used for this aim as materials for producing
biodecomposed composites, in which a biodecomposed
material is either a binder or a ﬁ ller [1–4].
To obtain biodecomposed materials with good operat-
ing characteristics and mouldability, plasticizers and other
additives are introduced in composites in addition to the
above-mentioned materials [5–8]. Most often glycerin is
used for plasticization of polymeric materials.
To decrease the cost price of the composites, especially
of those applied in agriculture (ﬁ lms for mulching, con-
tainers including those for sowing and growing plants,
and packages for refuse), it is expedient to apply untreated
materials, organic waste materials of agriculture, and also
coproducts of various manufactures [9–12].
Increasing biofuel production from rape results in
the formation of great amounts of coproducts: rape-cake
and glycerin. Rape-cake ﬁ nds application as feedstuff
for cattle and auks. However, as the production volume
of diesel biofuel increases, the amount of this waste
product also increases, which considerably surpasses its
common need for feedstuff. Great amounts of obtained
crude glycerin also oblige us to search for methods of its
ecologically safe and economic application. As reﬁ ning
of crude glycerin demands great energy expenditures, it
is necessary to search for possibilities of its immediate
application. It is recommended to use crude glycerin as an
alimentary additive to feedstuff for animals. Researches
directed at its transformation into fuel and semi-products
of chemical manufactures are in progress [13–16].
The aim of this work was the preparation of biode-
gradable composites based on polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)
and coproducts of diesel biofuel production (rape-cake
and glycerin) and the study of their deformation-strength,
sorption, and operation properties.
To compile composites, we used polyvinyl alcohols
(Kuraray America Inc. and Japan Vam and Poval) of vari-
ous viscosity and hydrolysis degree: PVA 217 (hydrolysis
degree of 87.0–89.0%, viscosity of a 4% solution at 20°C
20.5–4.5 MPa s), JF-17 and JF-05 [hydrolysis degree
of products 98.0–99.0%, viscosity 4.5–6.5 (JF-05) and
28–32 MPa s (JF-17)]. Glycerin of 99.5% purity (“Рenta,”
Czechia), crude glycerin, and rape-cake (“Mestilla,”
Lithuania) were applied. Compositions of products are