Synthesis and Characterization of a Cassava Starch and Corn Husk Mixture for Biofilm Production
Gomez, Zully E.
Solano, Karina K.
Orjuela, David
Felibert, David J.
Rodrigo-Ilarri, Javier
Rodrigo-Clavero, Maria Elena

How to Cite

Gomez Z.E., Solano K.K., Orjuela D., Felibert D.J., Rodrigo-Ilarri J., Rodrigo-Clavero M.E., 2023, Synthesis and Characterization of a Cassava Starch and Corn Husk Mixture for Biofilm Production, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 100, 679-684.


The need to use solid waste generated in cities after crops are transformed into final consumer products motivates efforts aimed at creating alternatives and strategies for this purpose. Usually, the largest component of municipal waste is the organic fraction which is often not properly reused. This fact results in significant negative environmental and social impacts, such as high CO2 emissions, particles released from uncontrolled burning, water pollution from leachates, generation of foul odors, and the proliferation of rats and insects. These impacts could be prevented by applying different techniques, ranging from proper separation to obtaining energy from the waste and obtaining new products with characteristics and properties that confer a high potential for reuse. One possible alternative focus in creating new materials that use waste as raw materials, which can include agriculture and municipal waste.
This study aims to present the creation of biofilm as a possible substitute for using virgin plastic materials as an alternative to manage one type of solid waste generated in the domestic sector but in greater quantities such as with corn husks found in marketplaces. This waste was used to develop a composite material with a polymeric matrix made of cassava starch that uses glycerol and polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) as a plasticizer. The film created was evaluated to determine its mechanical tension and impact strength properties. Furthermore, a thermal characterization was performed via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and dynamic-mechanical analysis (DMTA). The films were prepared to contain 95% gelatinized cassava starch, 0.3% corn husk dry residue, 3% glycerin, and 1.7% % PVOH. This biofilm represents an alternative to support circular economy policies and is a technological strategy aimed at material innovation.