Thermal decomposition of biodegradable polyesters I: Poly(beta-hydroxybutyric acid)

  • Kopinke F
  • Remmler M
  • Mackenzie K
  • 2


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • N/A


    Citations of this article.


The thermal decomposition of the biologically degradable polymer poly(beta-hydroxybutyric acid) (PHB) was investigated by means of several thermoanalytical techniques: thermogravimetry, differential scanning calorimetry, time resolved pyrolysis-MS and pyrolysis-GC/MS. The results conform with reaction mechanisms proposed in the literature. The dominant reaction pathway is a stereoselective cis-elimination giving rise to the formation of trans-crotonic acid and its oligomers. Crude PHB embedded in the original biomass is significantly less stable (T-max = 235 degrees C) than the purified polymer (T-max = 290 degrees C). An apparent activation energy of E(A) = 235 kJ . mol(-1) was derived from DSC measurements. The data from dynamic thermogravimetric and pyrolysis-MS experiments are not consistent with first order random cleavage kinetics, as would be expected from the reaction mechanism. Thermogravimetry offers a convenient tool for analyzing quantitatively the PHB content of biomasses. (C) 1996 Elsevier Science Limited

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • F Kopinke

  • M Remmler

  • K Mackenzie

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free