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RESEARCH TOPICS Research projects of IPCB in italian

Biodegradable polymers: synthesis, characterization and degradation

The research is focused on biodegradable polymers and it concerns:

  • Synthesis of aliphatic and aromatic/aliphatic copolyesters and poly(esteramide)s, both from renewable and unrenewable sources;
  • Structural, thermal and mechanical properties, determined by diverse techniques such as NMR, mass spectrometry techniques (MALDI, ESI, Py-GC/MS), SEC, TGA, DSC;
  • Quantitative analysis of residual monomers by ESI/MS and GC/MS;
  • Enzymatic degradation, biodegradation in compost and soil burial test;
  • Study of thermal, photo and thermo-oxidative mechanisms of degradation;
  • Evaluation of the properties of biodegradable commercial materials for food packaging and their selection according to the specific foodstuff.
image: Biodegradable polymers

Copolymers synthesis are carried out by melt polymerizations. Optimization of experimental conditions is accomplished to get high molar mass polymers with suitable mechanical properties and high yield. Synthesized copolymers, with different compositions, are characterized by NMR, SEC, MALDI, DSC, TGA, viscometry. Polymer films are prepared and mechanical properties evaluated. Enzymatic and soil burial tests are performed on commercial and synthetic samples.
MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry is routinely used for a detailed structural characterization of synthetic and commercial biodegradable homo and co-polymers. The biodegradable polyesters analyzed include: poly(butylenesuccinate), poly(butyleneadipate), poly(butylenesebacate) and their copolymers with different compositions; Bionolle, polylactide and poly(ε-caprolactone); poly[(R,S)-3- hydroxybutyrate-co-L- lactic acid] and poly[(R,S)-3- hydroxybutyrate-co-ε-caprolactone], aliphatic/aromatic copolyesters based on aliphatic dicarboxylic acids, 1,4-butandiol and terephthalic acid.
MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS/MS is employed to study the fragmentation mechanisms and for the structural analysis of biodegradable synthetic polymers. For example, MALDI-TOF/TOF-MS/MS analysis has given structural information about the sequences of ester and amide units in poly(esteramide)s samples synthetizes by sebacic acid and 2-aminoethanol or 4-amino-1-butanol.
Additionally, thermal, photo and thermos-oxidative degradation mechanisms of biodegradable polymers are investigated by MALDI and ESI mass spectrometry.

People to contact: Paola Rizzarelli

Progetto PON02_00451_33619091 dal titolo SHELF-LIFE "Utilizzo integrato di approcci tecnologici innovativi per migliorare la shelf-life e preservare le proprietà nutrizionali di prodotti agroalimentari"
finanziato nell’ambito del Programma Operativo Nazionale "Ricerca e Competitività" PON R&C 2007-2013 per le Regioni della Convergenza - Avviso 713/Ric 29 ottobre 2010. (01/10/2012-30/06/2015)

Progetto POR FESR LINEA D'INTERVENTO 4.1.1.2 "Realizzazione di ’Jelly’ a base di frutta"
presentato in forma congiunta con Dolfin S.p.A. finanziato da REGIONE SICILIANA ASSESSORATO ATTIVITÀ PRODUTTIVE. (01/01/2012-31/12/2013)

Research Project "Innovazione e Tecnologie per il Miglioramento della Sostenibilità Agroindustriale, della Sicurezza e Qualità Alimentare"
financed in the framework of the agreement between "Regione Sicilia"', MIUR and MEF (APQ, project code RS-20). (05/10/2005-04/05/2008)

Contratto di prestazione di servizi, relativo ad analisi su manufatti a base di polimeri biodegradabili, stipulato con LEGAMBIENTE O.N.L.U.S. (07/01/2016 - 07/01/2018)

Contratto di prestazione di servizi, relativo ad analisi su manufatti a base di polimeri biodegradabili, stipulato con l’azienda Novamont S.p.A. (25/05/2015 - 25/05/2016)

Contratto di prestazione di servizi, relativo a test di degradazione in suolo di manufatti a base di polimeri biodegradabili, stipulato con l’azienda Irritec S.p.A. (12/01/2015-12/06/2015)

Contratto di prestazione di servizi, relativo ad attività di benchmark su polimeri biodegradabili commerciali, stipulato con l’azienda italiana COESIA S.p.A. (12/02/2014-03/10/2014)

Contratto di prestazione di servizi, relativo a "Caratterizzazione di campioni polimerici biodegradabili e quantificazione di residui monomerici" stipulati con l’azienda Novamont S.p.A. (15/03/2007-30/04/2007; 28/02/2012-28/07/2012)

List of selected publication:

P.Rizzarelli*, M.Rapisarda, S.Perna, E.F.Mirabella, S.La Carta, C.Puglisi, G.Valenti
Determination of polyethylene in biodegradable polymer blends and in compostable carrier bags by Py-GC/MS and TGA
Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis 117, 72-81 (2016)

P.Rizzarelli*, M.Cirica, G.Pastorelli, C.Puglisi, G.Valenti
Aliphatic poly(ester amide)s from sebacic acid and aminoalcohols of different chain length: Synthesis, characterization and soil burial degradation
Polymer Degradation and Stability 121, 90-99 (2015)

F.Cicogna, S.Coiai*, P.Rizzarelli, S.Carroccio, C.Gambarotti, I.Domenichelli, C.Yang, N.Tz.Dintcheva, G.Filippone, C.Pinzino, E.Passaglia
Functionalization of aliphatic polyesters by nitroxide radical coupling
Polymer Chemistry 5, 5656-5667 (2014)

P.Rizzarelli*, S.Carroccio
Modern mass spectrometry in the characterization and degradation of biodegradable polymers
Analytica Chimica Acta 808, 18-43 (2014)

P.Rizzarelli*
Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight/time-offlight tandem mass spectra of biodegradable polybutylenesuccinate
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 27, 2213-2225 (2013)

P.Rizzarelli*, D.Zampino, L.Ferreri, G.Impallomeni
Direct Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry Quantitative Analysis of Sebacic and Terephthalic Acids in Biodegradable Polymers
Analytical Chemistry 83, 654-660 (2011)

K.Fukushima, D.Tabuani*, C.Abbate, M.Arena, P.Rizzarelli
Preparation, characterization and biodegradation of biopolymer nanocomposites based on fumed silica
European Polymer Journal 47(2), 139-152 (2011)

K.Fukushima*, C.Abbate, D.Tabuani, M.Gennari, P.Rizzarelli, G.Camino
Biodegradation trend of poly(ε-caprolactone) and nanocomposites
Materials Science and Engineering C 30(4), 139-152 (2010)

P.Rizzarelli*, S.Carroccio
Thermo-oxidative processes in biodegradable poly(butylene succinate)
Polymer Degradation and Stability 94, 1825-1838 (2009)

P.Rizzarelli*, C.Puglisi
Structural characterization of synthetic poly(ester amide) from sebacic acid and 4-amino-1-butanol by matrixassisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 22(6), 739-754 (2008)

G.Adamus, P.Rizzarelli, M.S.Montaudo, M.Kowalczuk, G.Montaudo
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry with size-exclusion chromatographic fractionation for structural characterization of synthetic aliphatic copolyesters
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 20(5), 804-814 (2006)

P.Rizzarelli, C.Puglisi, G.Montaudo
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight tandem mass spectra of poly(butylene adipate)
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 20(11), 1683-1694 (2006)

P.Rizzarelli*, C.Puglisi, G.Montaudo*
Sequence determination in aliphatic poly(ester amide)s by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight and time-of-flight/time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 19(17), 2407 (2005)

S.Carroccio, P.Rizzarelli*, C.Puglisi, G.Montaudo*
MALDI Investigation of Photooxidation in Aliphatic Polyesters: Poly(butylene succinate)
Macromolecules 37(17), 6576 (2004)

P.Rizzarelli*, C.Puglisi, G.Montaudo*
Soil burial and enzymatic degradation in solution of aliphatic co-polyesters
Polymer Degradation and Stability 85(2), 855 (2004)

P.Rizzarelli, G.Impallomeni, G.Montaudo*
Evidence for Selective Hydrolysis of Aliphatic Copolyesters Induced by Lipase Catalysis
Biomacromolecules 5(2), 433 (2004)

G.Montaudo*, P.Rizzarelli
Synthesis and enzymatic degradation of aliphatic copolyesters
Polymer Degradation and Stability 70(2), 305 (2000)

S.Carroccio, P.Rizzarelli, C.Puglisi*
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight characterisation of biodegradable aliphatic copolyesters
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 14(16), 1513 (2000)

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