PRODUCTION OF STARCH-DERIVED BIOPLASTIC FILM FROM CASSAVA (MANIHOT ESCULENTA) TUBERS
The use of synthetic plastic has caused a lot of environmental problems especially to the agricultural and available lands where they are dumped because of their inability to degrade. This study therefore was aimed at producing biodegradable plastic film using starch extracted from Manihot esculenta. Different mass of starch was used to produce bioplastic film using methanoic acid, ethanoic acid and propanoic acid in the presence of water and glycerol as plasticizers. The result of the study showed that the starch yield of 52.26%, moisture content of 19.74%, pH of 6.7 and amylose content of 20.67%. The result also revealed that the masses of the bioplastic films produced increased with increase in mass of starch and increased with carbon content of the organic acids. The mechanical properties of the bioplastic films were compared to that of nylon. The tensile strength of the bioplastic films were found to be significantly higher (p < 0.05) when compared to the nylon. But the shear/tear resistance and percentage elongation of the nylon was found to be higher (p < 0.05) when compared to the bioplastic films produced. It was also revealed that the bioplastic film could be degraded by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and that the propanoic acid derived bioplastic could degrade faster than the others. The idea of producing bioplastic material from cassava starch is feasible and should be encouraged in a country with high cassava productivity, like Nigeria.