Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 2131–2143 | Cite as

Toward Greener Polymeric Blends: Study of PBAT/Thermoplastic Whey Protein Isolate/Beeswax Blends

  • Marina Fernandes Cosate de AndradeEmail author
  • Mathias Strauss
  • Ana Rita Morales
Original paper


This work evaluated the effects of partial substitution of PBAT by thermoplastic whey protein isolate (WPIT) with addition of beeswax through blends processing and their morphological, mechanical, structural, thermal and rheological properties. Whey protein isolate (WPI) was denatured at 90 °C, using glycerol as plasticizer, to be transformed in a thermoplastic material and subsequently blended with PBAT using a torque rheometer at 130 °C. Addition of 10 and 30% of WPIT in the PBAT matrix was investigated with and without beeswax. Blends were pressed as films with ~ 320 µm of thickness. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of PBAT/WPIT blends films revealed the presence of domains. These domains are compounded of whey protein, while at the continuous phase a moderate degree of mixture between PBAT and WPIT was observed by Raman analyses. WPIT did not alter the degree of crystallinity and the glass-transition temperature (Tg) of the PBAT in the blends. Thermogravimetric curves of the blends showed decomposition stages related to WPIT and PBAT phases. Thermal stability of blends decreased in comparison to WPIT, which was associated to the cleavage of disulfide bonds of WPIT during processing and causes other kind of interaction between components. Besides, blends containing WPIT remained non-rigid polymers with Young’s modulus below 70 MPa. The tensile strength and elongation at break decreased due the presence of WPIT. Beeswax did not influence the thermal and mechanical properties explored in this study.


PBAT Whey protein isolate Thermoplastic material Beeswax Polymer blends 



The authors acknowledge the Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano/CNPEM) for the use of materials characterization (SEM, TG and DSC) and polymers processing facilities. National System of Laboratories for Nanotechnology (SisNANO/MCTI) is also acknowledged for its financial support in infrastructure and equipment at the LNNano. MFCA thanks CNPq (process number 163257/2015-9) for the fellowship. Ivanei Pinheiro, Mariane Pereira, Elizabeth Sanches, Renata Brandão, Mayara Calderaro, and Patrícia Souza are thanked for they support on materials analyses and valuable discussions.

Supplementary material

10924_2019_1502_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1008 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1007 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DEMBio, School of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of Campinas (UNICAMP)CampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory (LNNano)National Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM)CampinasBrazil
  3. 3.Centre of Natural and Human SciencesFederal University of ABCSanto AndréBrazil

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