Colorants based on renewable resources and food-grade colorants for application in thermoplastics

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    A series of colorants based on renewable resources and food-grade colorants have been evaluated for use in polypropylene (PP) and polyvinylchloride (PVC). It has been found that most of these colorants can be processed in PP at 200degreesC or even 260degreesC while maintaining good color intensity and color brightness. The colorants evaluated cover a large part of the color spectrum. In PP, the light stability of alizarin (red), carmine (red), indigo (blue), purpurin (red), quinizarin (red), and the aluminium lakes of quinoline yellow (yellow) and indigo carmine (blue) is close to the requirements for indoor applications. The blue colorants indigo and the aluminium lake of indigo carmine are, in principle, sufficiently light stable in PP for indoor applications. A few colorants showed bleeding from PP. Bonding of migrating colorants to the reactive carrier maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene, however, reduced bleeding of the colorant to a large extent. Also after processing in PVC at 200degreesC, good color intensity and saturation is maintained. Quinizarin, a structural analog of alizarin and purpurin, shows a light stability performance that is close to commercial lead chromate/molybdate orange based colorants. The best performing natural colorants are sufficiently heat and light stable for applications where moderate properties concerning heat resistance and (UV) light stability are required, such as underground PVC water drainage pipes and indoor PP applications. (C) 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2961-2969
    JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
    Issue number5.
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • natural pigments
    • anthocyanins


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