Assessment of aliphatic-aromatic copolyester biodegradable mulch films. Part I: field study.


The objective of this work was to study the use of new biodegradable films in agriculture under open field conditions. Three biodegradable mulch films made from modified biodegradable polyester of different thicknesses and colors (black and white) and a conventional low density polyethylene (LDPE) mulch film were used to cover the beds of tomato plants. Changes in physical appearance of the films were recorded as well as changes in their mechanical, optical, and physical properties. Once tomato harvest was completed, the conventional LDPE mulch film was removed and all the tomato plants were cut using a mower. The biodegradable mulch films were plowed into the soil. The change in the appearance of the film was recorded and samples of each film after plowing were characterized according to the properties mentioned above. After the biodegradable films photodegraded, cross-link formation occurred within the films which promoted brittleness. Titanium dioxide, an additive used to produce white color in the films, catalyzed the photodegradation, while carbon black used for black color stabilized the photodegradation. The white films started to degrade after two weeks while it took about eight weeks for the black films to significantly degrade. The black biodegradable film seems to be a more promising alternative as a mulch film because of the comparable yields and weed suppression ability to conventional mulch film.

DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.10.074
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@article{Kijchavengkul2008AssessmentOA, title={Assessment of aliphatic-aromatic copolyester biodegradable mulch films. Part I: field study.}, author={Thitisilp Kijchavengkul and Rafael A. Auras and Maria F. Rubino and Mathieu Ngouajio and Ronald T. Fern{\'a}ndez}, journal={Chemosphere}, year={2008}, volume={71 5}, pages={942-53} }