Daniel Prasetyo, Daniel
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Industrial Technology Institute of Technology Bandung, Jl. Ganesha 10, Bandung, 40132

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Journal : Journal of Engineering and Technological Sciences

Molecular Weight and Structural Properties of Biodegradable PLA Synthesized with Different Catalysts by Direct Melt Polycondensation Lee, Hyung Woo; Insyani, Rizki; Prasetyo, Daniel; Prajitno, Hermawan; Sitompul, Johnner P.
Journal of Engineering and Technological Sciences Vol 47, No 4 (2015)
Publisher : ITB Journal Publisher, LPPM ITB

Show Abstract | Download Original | Original Source | Check in Google Scholar | Full PDF (261.643 KB) | DOI: 10.5614/j.eng.technol.sci.2015.47.4.2


Production of biodegradable polylactic acid  (PLA)  from biomassbased lactic acid is widely studied for substituting petro-based plastics  or polymers. This study investigated PLA production from commercial lactic acid in a batch reactor by applying a direct melt polycondensation method with two kinds of catalyst,  γ-aluminium(III)  oxide  (γ-Al2O3) or  zinc oxide (ZnO),  in reduced pressure. The molecular weight of the synthesized PLA was determined by capillary viscometry and its structural properties were analyzed by functional group analysis using FT-IR. The yields of polymer production with respect to the theoretical conversion were 47% for γ-Al2O3 and 35% for ZnO. However, the PLA from ZnO had a higher molecular weight (150,600 g/mol) than that from γ-Al2O3 (81,400 g/mol). The IR spectra of the synthesized PLA from both catalysts using polycondensation show the same behavior of absorption peaks at wave numbers from 4,500 cm-1 to 500 cm-1, whereas the PLA produced by two other polymerization methods – polycondensation and ring opening polymerization –showed a significant difference in % transmittance intensity pattern as well as peak area absorption at a wave number of 3,500 cm-1 as –OH vibration peak and at 1,750 cm-1 as –C=O carbonyl vibrational peak.