Overview of the mechanical, thermal and barrier properties of biobased and/or biodegradable thermoplastic materials

Herman de Beukelaer, Marieke Hilhorst, Yarek Workala, Evelien Maaskant, Wouter Post*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study gives an overview of the most relevant processing and performance properties of a wide selection of biobased and biodegradable plastic materials that are currently commercially available. It provides the most extensive and up-to-date scientific overview of critical properties of biobased and biodegradable plastics. Materials that are tested include fully biobased polymers (polylactic acid, polyethylene, polyamide 10,10 and a range of polyhydroxy alkanoates), partially biobased polymers (polybutylene succinate, polybutylene succinate adipate, cellulose acetate, cellulose acetate propionate, polyethylene terephthalate, polytrimethylene terephthalate, an isosorbide based polycarbonate, a thermoplastic urethane and a starch based blend) and a number of fossil-based materials (polycaprolactone, polybutylene adipate terephthalate, polyglycolic acid and polypropylene). The mechanical (tensile, flexural, impact resistance and hardness), thermal (glass transition temperature, melting temperature, melt-flow index and haul-off force) and barrier (oxygen transmission rate, water vapour transmission rate) properties of all these materials were measured and are presented in a comprehensive overview. This overview shows that the majority of functionalities that are currently being offered by fossil based polymers can be met by biobased alternatives and by biodegradable materials if this is considered to be favourable at end-of-life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107803
JournalPolymer Testing
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Barrier properties
  • Biodegradable polymers
  • Biopolymers
  • Mechanical properties
  • Thermal properties


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