A Basic Characterisation Study of Bioplastics via Gelatinization of Corn Starch

Keywords: Bioplastic, glycerol, corn starch, gelatinization, fertiliser coating.


Plastic waste is the third-largest waste source in the world, so it raises the world’s human health and environmental concerns. Replacing conventional petroleum plastic with bioplastic is an alternative way to minimise plastic wastes from human life and bioplastic is more environmentally friendly. Therefore, this research study aims to synthesise bioplastic from corn starch via gelatinization and study its characteristics. Different from other studies, in this study, new formulations of bioplastics with different ratios of corn starch to glycerol samples that are 1:0.5, 1:1, 2:1, and 2:2, namely Sets A, B, C, and D, respectively, were studied and compared. From the Fourier Transformation Infrared Spectroscopy analysis, the results show that all produced corn starch-based bioplastic samples had the four major plastic’s functional groups which indicated that they were categorized as polyester. Meanwhile, via thermal property analysis, all bioplastic samples could be thermally decomposed from 34 °C to 504 °C where their weight was reduced from 5 mg to 1 mg. Among the four bioplastic samples (Sets A to D) with different ratios of corn starch to glycerol, it was found that a ratio of corn starch and glycerol that was 1:0.5 (Set A) had more biodegradable characteristics and it had the lowest water holding capacity. From the results, Set A could only hold around 4.27 % of the water that could avoid interaction of water with the contents that were wrapped with. Besides, from the results, Set A could degrade better in soils, and dissolve more in ethanol, acetone, and oils when compared to other samples. Since the bioplastic can degrade naturally by the ethanol produced from bacteria in the soils under anaerobic reactions, thus Set A has the potential application to be used as a fertiliser coating to minimise the fertiliser release rate in regions under heavy rainfall.


Dilkes-Hoffman, L., Pratt, S., Lant, P., & Laycock, B. (2019). The role of biodegradable plastic in solving plastic solid waste accumulation Plastics to energy (pp. 469-505): Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-813140-4.00019-4

El Kadi, S. (2010). Bioplastic production form inexpensive sources bacterial biosynthesis, cultivation system, production and biodegrability. USA: VDM (Verlag Dr. Muller) Publishing House.

Villanueva, A., & Eder, P. (2014). End-of-waste criteria for waste plastic for conversion. Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. ISSN 1831-9424

Barnes, D. K., Galgani, F., Thompson, R. C., & Barlaz, M. (2009). Accumulation and fragmentation of plastic debris in global environments. Philosophical transactions of the royal society B: biological sciences, 364(1526), 1985-1998. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2008.0205

Álvarez-Chávez, C. R., Edwards, S., Moure-Eraso, R., & Geiser, K. (2012). Sustainability of bio-based plastics: general comparative analysis and recommendations for improvement. Journal of cleaner production, 23(1), 47-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2011.10.003

Cinelli, P., Chiellini, E., Lawton, J., & Imam, S. (2006). Foamed articles based on potato starch, corn fibers and poly (vinyl alcohol). Polymer Degradation and Stability, 91(5), 1147-1155. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2005.07.001

Hwang, J., Choi, D., Han, S., Jung, S. Y., Choi, J., & Hong, J. (2020). Potential toxicity of polystyrene microplastic particles. Scientific reports, 10(1), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-64464-9

Ishrat, M., Mamta, T., & Vikas, N. (2018). Biodegradable packaging materials. Encyclopedia of renewable and sustainable materials, 2, 688-697. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-803581-8.10356-X

Rahman, M. H., & Bhoi, P. R. (2021). An overview of non-biodegradable bioplastics. Journal of cleaner production, 126218. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.126218

Arikan, E. B., & Ozsoy, H. D. (2015). A review: investigation of bioplastics. J. Civ. Eng. Arch, 9, 188-192. doi: 10.17265/1934-7359/2015.02.007

Pathak, S., Sneha, C., & Mathew, B. B. (2014). Bioplastics: its timeline based scenario & challenges. Journal of Polymer and Biopolymer Physics Chemistry, 2(4), 84-90. DOI:10.12691/jpbpc-2-4-5

Zulkafli, N. N. (2014). Production of Bioplastic from Agricultural Waste. UMP.

Rani, M., & Shanker, U. (2021). Plastic Degradation and its Environmental Implications. Degradation of Plastics, 99, 290-324. https://doi.org/10.21741/9781644901335-12

Siracusa, V., Rocculi, P., Romani, S., & Dalla Rosa, M. (2008). Biodegradable polymers for food packaging: a review. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 19(12), 634-643. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tifs.2008.07.003

Reddy, C., Ghai, R., & Kalia, V. C. (2003). Polyhydroxyalkanoates: an overview. Bioresource technology, 87(2), 137-146. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0960-8524(02)00212-2

Nair, L. S., & Laurencin, C. T. (2007). Biodegradable polymers as biomaterials. Progress in polymer science, 32(8-9), 762-798. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.progpolymsci.2007.05.017

Cho, R. (2018). The truth about bioplastics. State of the Planet.

Sultan, N. F. K., & Johari, W. L. W. (2017). The development of banana peel/corn starch bioplastic film: A preliminary study. Bioremediation Science and Technology Research, 5(1), 12-17. e-ISSN 2289-5892

Mohammad, N. N., Rabu, M., Adnan, M., & Rosali, M. (2019). An overview of the grain corn industry in Malaysia. from Food and fertilizer technology center agricultural policy platform http://ap.fftc.agnet.org/ap_db.php?id=965&print=1

Jeevahan, J., & Chandrasekaran, M. (2018). Effect of Olive oil Concentrations on film properties of edible composite films prepared from Corn starch and Olive oil. Res. J. Pharm. Technol, 11, 4934. http://dx.doi.org/10.5958/0974-360X.2018.00898.3

Gujar, S., Pandel, B., & Jethoo, A. (2014). Effect of plasticizer on mechanical and moisture absorption properties of eco-friendly corn starch-based bioplastic. Nature Environment and Pollution Technology, 13(2), 425. ISSN: 0972-6268

Törnqvist, L., Vartia, P., & Vartia, Y. O. (1985). How should relative changes be measured? The American Statistician, 39(1), 43-46. https://doi.org/10.1080/00031305.1985.10479385

Judawisastra, H., Sitohang, R., & Marta, L. (2017). Water absorption and its effect on the tensile properties of tapioca starch/polyvinyl alcohol bioplastics. Paper presented at the IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering.https://doi.org/10.1088/1757-899X/223/1/012066

AS, T. a. D. (n.d.). Past Weather in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. Retrieved 23rd May 2021, 2021, from https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/malaysia/miri/historic

Ratnayake, W. S., & Jackson, D. S. (2006). Gelatinization and solubility of corn starch during heating in excess water: new insights. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 54(10), 3712-3716. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf0529114

Zhao, X.-R., Xu, X., Teng, J., Zhou, N., Zhou, Z., Jiang, X.-Y., Yu, J.-G. (2019). Three-dimensional porous graphene oxide-maize amylopectin composites with controllable pore-sizes and good adsorption-desorption properties: Facile fabrication and reutilization, and the adsorption mechanism. Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 176, 11-19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2019.03.069

Amin, M. R., Chowdhury, M. A., & Kowser, M. A. (2019). Characterization and performance analysis of composite bioplastics synthesized using titanium dioxide nanoparticles with corn starch. Heliyon, 5(8), e02009.

Mendes, J., Paschoalin, R., Carmona, V., Neto, A. R. S., Marques, A., Marconcini, J., Oliveira, J. (2016). Biodegradable polymer blends based on corn starch and thermoplastic chitosan processed by extrusion. Carbohydrate polymers, 137, 452-458. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2015.10.093

Ismail, N. A., Mohd Tahir, S., Yahya, N., Abdul Wahid, M. F., Khairuddin, N. E., Hashim, I., ... & Abdullah, M. A. (2016). Synthesis and characterization of biodegradable starch-based bioplastics. In Materials Science Forum, 846, 673-678). Trans Tech Publications Ltd. https://doi.org/10.4028/www.scientific.net/MSF.846.673

Garlotta, D. (2001). A literature review of poly (lactic acid). Journal of Polymers and the Environment, 9(2), 63-84. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1020200822435

El Seoud, O. A., Nawaz, H., & Arêas, E. P. (2013). Chemistry and applications of polysaccharide solutions in strong electrolytes/dipolar aprotic solvents: an overview. Molecules, 18(1), 1270-1313. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules18011270

Puspita, P. S., & Hermana, W. (2019). Effect of isoamylase application on chemical characteristic of cassava root meal starch. In IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 251(1), 012058. IOP Publishing..https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/251/1/012058

Marichelvam, M., Jawaid, M., & Asim, M. (2019). Corn and rice starch-based bio-plastics as alternative packaging materials. Fibers, 7(4), 32. https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7040032

Abolibda, T. Z. Y. (2015). Physical and chemical investigations of starch based bio-plastics. University of Leicester.

Tai, N., Adhikari, R., Shanks, R., & Adhikari, B. (2019). Aerobic biodegradation of starch–polyurethane flexible films under soil burial condition: Changes in physical structure and chemical composition. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation, 145, 104793. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ibiod.2019.104793

Wahyuningtiyas, N. E., & Suryanto, H. (2017). Analysis of biodegradation of bioplastics made of cassava starch. Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science and Technology (JMEST), 1(1), 24-31. http://dx.doi.org/10.17977/um016v1i12017p024

Wei, L., & McDonald, A. G. (2016). Accelerated weathering studies on the bioplastic, poly (3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate). Polymer Degradation and Stability, 126, 93-100. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2016.01.023

Ji, Y., Zhang, T., Gui, X., Shi, H., & Yun, Z. (2020). Solventless ketalization of glycerol to solketal with acetone over the ionic liquid [P (C4H9) 3C14H29][TsO]. Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering, 28(1), 158-164. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cjche.2019.07.019

How to Cite
Lee, C. L. Y., & Yeo, W. S. (2021). A Basic Characterisation Study of Bioplastics via Gelatinization of Corn Starch. Journal of Applied Science & Process Engineering, 8(2), 820-833. https://doi.org/10.33736/jaspe.3445.2021