Starch consolidation of calcium carbonate as a tool to develop lightweight fillers for LDPE-based plastics


Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is used as a filler to improve the stiffness and processability of plastics at low cost. However, its high density limits the quantity to be used. In this work, the feasibility of using starch consolidation of eggshells-derived CaCO3 (ES) to develop lightweight fillers for low density polyethylene (LDPE)-based ma-terials was studied. Starch, recovered from potato by-products, was combined with ES, gelatinized, dried, and milled as a fine powder. The obtained ES/starch-based particles were then compounded with LDPE and their influence on chromatic, mechanical, morphological, and density properties of mold injected LDPE-based mate-rials was studied. Commercially available CaCO3 (COM) was used as control. ES/starch particles were 18 times less dense than the commercially available CaCO3 (2.62 g cm-3). When incorporated into LDPE-based formu-lations, ES/starch originated brownish materials with lower density (1.18 g cm -3) and higher stiffness (542 MPa of Young's modulus) than those produced with the COM sample (1.33 g cm-3 of density; 221 MPa of Young's modulus). Therefore, starch consolidation of ES revealed to be a promising approach to develop lightweight fillers able to provide stiffness and color to LDPE-based plastics, while valorizing biomolecules-rich by-products.



subject category

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Chemistry; Polymer Science


Santos, JDC; Brites, P; Martins, C; Nunes, C; Coimbra, MA; Ferreira, P; Gonçalves, I

our authors


This work was developed within the scope of the projects CICECO -Aveiro Institute of Materials (UIDB/50011/2020, UIDP/50011/2020 & LA/P/0006/2020) and LAQV-REQUIMTE (UIDB/50006/2020), financed by national funds through the FCT/MCTES. The authors acknowledge to PLASTICOLIGHT project (POCI-01-0247-FEDER-33848), financed by FEDER through POCI, to Isolago - Industria de Plasticos, S. A., the project leader, and to Derovo group for providing eggshells. FCT is also thanked for the Investigator FCT program (IF/00300/2015, PF), Scientific Employment Stimulus program (IG, CEE-CIND/00430/2017), and in the scope of the framework contract foreseen in the numbers 4, 5, and 6 of the article 23, of the Decree-Law 57/2016, of August 29, changed by Law 57/2017, of July 19 (CN). JS also thank FCT for funding the SFRH/BD/145660/2019 grant.

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