Biodegradability properties of chitin/polylactic acid composite films

Nurshahida Rosdi, Zainoha Zakaria


In this work, chitin was used as filler in polylactic acid (PLA) through solution casting method. The morphological, water absorption and biodegradability properties of chitin/PLA composite films were investigated using field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), swelling test and soil burial test, respectively.  FESEM images showed that there are presence of rod-like structures on the surface of PLA/chitin film possibly that of chitin particles.  The biodegradability properties of the films increased as the amount of chitin increases.  Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to observe the interaction between chitin and PLA.  From the spectrum, it indicates that there are no significant changes in the peak position, suggesting that there is no strong chemical interaction taking place between chitin and PLA.


Chitin, polylactic acid; biodegradability; water absorption; soil burial test

Full Text:



Gironi, F. and Piemonte, V. Bioplastics and Petroleum-based Plastics: Strengths and Weakness. Energy Source, Part A, 2011. 33, 1949-1959.

Inkinen, S. The journey of poly(lactic acid): From commodities to special applications. University of Helsinki. 2013.

Zulkeple, N. M., Zakaria, Z., Hamdan, S., Abdul Manaf, M. S. Fermentation of Prawn Waste by using Effective Microorganism (EM) for Protein Production. Journal of Fundamental Sciences, 2011. 7(2), 108-112.

Arjmandi, R., Hassan, A., Mohamad Haafiz, M. K., Zakaria, Z. Tensile and morphological properties of hybrid montmorillonite/microcrystalline cellulose filled polylactic acid composites: Effect of filler ratio. Advanced Materials Research, 2015. 1125, 271-275.

Mohamad Haafiz, M. K., Hassan, A., Zakaria, Z., Inuwa, I. M., Islam, M. S., Jawaid, M. Properties of polylactic acid composites reinforced with oil palm biomass microcrystalline cellulose. Carbohydrate Polymers, 2013. 98, 139-145.

Mohd Asri, S. E. A., Zakaria, Z., Hassan. A., Mohamad Haafiz, M. K. Mechanical properties of polylactic acid/treated fermented chitin nanowhiskers Biocomposites. Applied Mechanics and Materials, 2014. 606, 89-92.

Chuayjuljit, S., Hosililak, S., Athisart, A. Thermoplastic cassava starch/sorbitol-modified montmorillonite nanocomposites blended with low density polyethylene: properties and biodegradability study. Journal of Metals, Materials and Minerals, 2009. 19(1), 59-65.

Arjmandi, R., Hassan, A., Mohamad Haafiz, M. K., Zakaria, Z. Effect of microcrystalline cellulose on biodegradability, tensile and morphological properties of montmorillonite reinforced polylactic acid nanocomposites. Fibers and Polymers, 2015. 16(10), 2284-2293.

Kumar, R., Yakubu, M. K., Anandjiwala, R. D. Biodegradation of flax fiber reinforced poly lactic acid. eXPRESS Polymer Letters, 2010. 4(7), 423-430.

Azahari, N. A., Othman, N., Ismail, H. Biodegradation studies of polyvinyl alcohol/corn starch blend films in solid and solution media. Journal of Physical Science, 2011. 22(2), 15-31.

Nurul Faizah binti Abd Ghapar. Biodegrability and Antimicrobial Activity of Chitin Nanowhiskers/Chitosan Films. Degree of Bachelor of Science (Industrial Chemistry). Universiti Teknologi Malaysia; 2015.

Zakaria, Z., Islam, M. S., Hassan, A., Mohamad Haafiz, M. K., Arjmandi, R., Inuwa, I. M., Hasan, M. Mechanical properties and morphological characterization of PLA/chitosan/epoxidized natural rubber composites. Advances in Materials Science and Engineering, 2013. 1-7.

Bonilla, J., Fortunati, E., Vargas, M., Chiralt, A., Kenny, J. M. Effects of chitosan on the physicochemical and antimicrobial properties of PLA films. Journal of Food Engineering, 2013. 119, 236-243.

Xiao, L., Wang, B., Yang, G., Gauthier, M. Poly(lactic acid)-based biomaterials: synthesis, modification and applications. Biomedical Science, Engineering and Technology, 2012. 247-282.

Ioelovich, M. Crystallinity and hydrophility of chitin and chitosan. Research and Reviews: Journal of Chemistry, 2014. 3(3), 7-14.

Dutta, P. K., Dutta, J., Tripathi, V. S. Chitin and chitosan: Chemistry, properties and applications. Journal of Scientific & Industrial Research, 2004. 63, 20-31.

Arjmandi, R., Hassan, A., Mohamad Haafiz, M. K., Zakaria, Z. Partial replacement effect of montmorillonite with cellulose nanowhiskers on polylactic acid nanocomposites. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 2015. 81, 91-99.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Nurshahida Rosdi, Zainoha Zakaria

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2016 Department of Chemistry, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

Disclaimer : This website has been updated to the best of our knowledge to be accurate. However, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia shall not be liable for any loss or damage caused by the usage of any information obtained from this web site.
Best viewed: Mozilla Firefox 4.0 & Google Chrome at 1024 × 768 resolution.