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CASSAVA (Manihot esculenta) STARCH AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO

BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC BAGS

A SCIENCE INVESTIGATORY PROJECT PROPOSAL

Presented to
Senior High School Department
Andres Bonifacio College
College Park, Dipolog City

In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements of the Subject
Practical Research 2

Presented by:
Alingal, Ilaika Mae
Antao, Husneleila
Aquino, Washrien
Balladares, Reigner
Delola, Jhay R Shem
Guantero, Dunhill
Lambojon, Clyde Angelo
Medija, Vanessa Lei
Miranda, Justin Steph
Reambonanza, Rosette Chona
Talaboc, Krystal Claire
Siano, Chloe

September 2019
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page

Title Page i

Table of Contents ii

CHAPTER I: The Problem and Its Scope

Introduction 1

Background of the Study 1

Statement of the Problem 3

Theoretical Framework 3

Conceptual Framework 4

Hypothesis of the Study 5

Significance of the Study 5

Scope and Limitations 6

Operational Definition of Terms 7

CHAPTER II: Review of Related Literature

Related Literature and Studies 10

CHAPTER III: Research Methodology

Research Design 18

Research Instrument 19

Data Gathering Procedure 19

Data Analysis Procedure 19

Statistical Tool and Treatment 20

of Data

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CHAPTER I

The Problem and Its Scope

This chapter presents the introduction, background of the study, statement of the

problem, theoretical and conceptual frameworks, hypothesis, significance of the study,

scope and limitations and definition of terms.

Introduction

Nowadays, the use of non-biodegradable plastics can be equated to the use of

metals since almost all objects that is found in the surroundings has a little bit of, if not

entirely, plastic components present in them. One reason for this is its availability and

cheap production cost.

From different fields in technology, pharmaceuticals to the daily necessities of

every person, there is an increasing demand for plastics. This high demand has resulted

a major contribution to number of garbage in the present world. Through the years

researches aimed to find solutions to this global dilemma developing alternatives such as

biodegradable plastics that would lessen, if not totally eradicate, this major issue. Using

cassava starch in developing biodegradable plastics one great solution to this issue.

Background of The Study

The production and use of biodegradable plastics has already started in different

parts of the world. Biodegradable plastics are those that can be completely degraded in

landfills, composts or sewage treatment plants by the action of naturally occurring micro-

organisms. “Truly biodegradable plastics leave no toxic, visible or distinguishable

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residues following degradation “(Brain P.M., 2009). In producing biodegradable plastic

an additive made from raw material is used such as starches and peels. These additives

are present in helping in the natural decomposition of the plastic materials. Starch is the

second most abundant natural polymer on earth. Starch is found in seeds, such as corn,

wheat, rice, sorghum, barley, or peas, and in tubers or roots, such as potato or cassava,

of the plants. Most of the starch produced worldwide is derived from corn, but other types

of starch such as cassava, sweet potato, potato, and wheat starch are also produced in

large amounts. Starch is widely used in food and other industrial applications, such as

papermaking and adhesives. In paper coating, starch is a commonly used as binder.

According to Cereda et.al, (1992), biodegradable polymers that are starch-based

are the one of the frequently studied, with starches from cassava as the most suitable

raw material due to its transparency and brightness. Cassava is a natural polymer. Since

plastics are made of polymers, it favorable for starch to be used in making biodegradable

plastics since it is renewable and cheap. Biodegradable plastic from starch, specifically

cassava, is produced by treating starch, polyvinyl alcohol (binder), epoxidized soya bean

oil (stabilizer), and glycerol (plasticizer) (Girao, et al., 2010).

In tropical and subtropical countries such as the Philippines cassava is a crop that

is abundant and making it a promising material for developing biodegradable plastics.

In this study the researchers aim to create usable biodegradable plastics bags

using cassava starch as a major component and would then be tested for durability, and

water solubility, reaction to strong acids and time to decompose.

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Statement of the problem

This study aims to create biodegradable plastic bags from cassava starches.

Specifically, it aims to answer the following specific questions:

1. Does the amount of cassava starch from different treatments affect the durability

of biodegradable plastic bags?

a. Treatment 1: 50g (32.26%) cassava starch, 50g (32.26%) water, 50g

(32.26%) PVA, 2.5g (1.61%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.61%) glycerol

b. Treatment 2: 65g (35.1%) cassava starch, 65g (35.1%) water, 50g (27%)

PVA, 2.5g (1.4%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.4%) glycerol

c. Treatment 3: 80g (37.21%) cassava starch, 65g (37.21%) water, 50g

(23.26%) PVA, 2.5g (1.16%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.16%) glycerol

2. Does the amount of cassava starch from different treatments affect the water

solubility of biodegradable plastic bags?

a. Treatment 1: 50g (32.26%) cassava starch, 50g (32.26%) water, 50g (32.26%)

PVA, 2.5g (1.61%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.61%) glycerol

b. Treatment 2: 65g (35.1%) cassava starch, 65g (35.1%) water, 50g (27%) PVA,

2.5g (1.4%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.4%) glycerol

c. Treatment 3: 80g (37.21%) cassava starch, 65g (37.21%) water, 50g (23.26%)

PVA, 2.5g (1.16%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.16%) glycerol

3. Does the amount of cassava starch from different treatments affect the rate of

decomposition and degradation of biodegradable plastic bags?

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a. Treatment 1: 50g (32.26%) cassava starch, 50g (32.26%) water, 50g (32.26%)

PVA, 2.5g (1.61%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.61%) glycerol

b. Treatment 2: 65g (35.1%) cassava starch, 65g (35.1%) water, 50g (27%) PVA,

2.5g (1.4%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.4%) glycerol

c. Treatment 3: 80g (37.21%) cassava starch, 65g (37.21%) water, 50g (23.26%)

PVA, 2.5g (1.16%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.16%) glycerol

4. How does the quality of the biodegradable plastic bags made from the cassava

starch compare to the regular plastic bags in terms of:

1.1 Durability

1.2 Rate of Decomposition and degradation

1.3 Water solubility

Theoretical Framework

In order to know how bio-based biodegradable plastic and fossil-based non-

biodegradable plastic compare to each other regarding sustainability, it is important to

know which factors and theories are important considering environmental sustainability.

Since there is an unclear distinction of what is considered sustainable, both

plastics will be compared to each other and with those results we will identify the level of

sustainability from both plastics.

Sustainability can be interpreted as “the ability of the earth’s various natural

systems and human cultural systems and economies to survive and adapt to changing

environmental conditions indefinitely.” (Miller & Spoolman, 2009). As mentioned,

sustainability has different aspects that requires consideration. One component that is

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critical is environmental sustainability, or natural capital. This refers to the natural

resources and natural services that support our economies and keep human beings and

other forms of life alive. Humans depend on this resources, either renewable or non-

renewable. An example of non-renewable sources are fossil fuels- coal and oil. The

emission of greenhouse gases is one level of measurement for environmental

sustainability, other examples are land use, water use, or chemical pollution.

In the 1860s plastics were invented, but in the 1940s the production increased

when it became one of the fastest-growing global industries (Geyer, et al. 2017). The

most common plastics are based on fossil fuels, a non-renewable source. Geyer et al.

(2017) state that fossil hydrocarbons are used as the raw material used to make plastics,

such as ethylene and propylene, stressing that none of the commonly used plastics are

biodegradable. Therefore, these plastics accumulate instead of decomposing in the

environment.

Most plastics are made of non-renewable sources and are therefore not

contributing to a sustainable society. In the production process of plastic, greenhouse

gases are emitted. This differs for the types of plastic and for the different groups, since

they have different production processes. However, since most plastics are made out of

fossil fuels, the greenhouse gas emissions are considerable. According to Miller and

Spoolman (2009) 43 percent of the global CO2 is caused by burning oil. This is however,

including oil for transportation. Thus, the materials of which the plastics are made are of

great importance for the amount of greenhouse gas emitted (Geyer et al., 2017). This is

accountable for the non-biodegradable plastics. However, for the biodegradable plastics

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this does not have to be of importance, since these plastics can decompose in a relatively

short time if well managed (Iwata, 2015).

The scientific concepts and theories have laid the fundament for this research

allowing the researchers to find an alternative raw material to create biodegradable

plastics. This will then allow for comparison between the biodegradable plastics and the

commonly made plastics from fossil-fuels that are none biodegradable and identify which

is more sustainable.

From the concepts and theories stated above about the comparison of non-

biodegradable plastics and biodegradable plastics on the level of sustainability, the

researchers assume that biodegradable plastics are more sustainable than non-

biodegradable plastics.

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Below is a diagram illustrating how these scientific concepts would be applicable

to the research study:

Sustainability
Independent variable

Type of Material Independent variable


used for plastic
production - Fossil- Method of waste
based - Bio-based management:
CO2 Emission
- Biodegradable
- Non-
biodegrable

Production process

Mediating variable

Figure 1.1 A theoretical diagram of Sustainable Plastics: Comparison of Fully Bio-based

Biodegradable Plastic and Fully Fossil-based Non-Biodegradable Plastic adapted from

Flemström (2003).

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Conceptual Framework

Input Process Output

Polyvinyl alcohol  Starch and water are


(PVA) mix and boiled in a
hot plate at about 80
Water degrees Centigrade.
Cassava starch  Remove from heat Biodegradable
and add the rest of Plastic Bag from
Epoxinated the materials. Cassava Starch
soybean oil  The mixture will be
(ESBO) compressed at a
Glycerol/glycerine certain temperature.
 Cute into a certain
length

Figure 1.2 Conceptual paradigm showing the biodegradable plastic bags produced

from cassava (Manihot esculenta) starch.

The main focus of this study is to create a biodegradable plastic bag from cassava

starch. The conceptual paradigm shows the materials to be used in the study. Next is the

process on how these materials will be treated to finally create the biodegradable plastic

bag. It starts with the water and starch form a mixture after being combined and heated.

The rest of the materials will then be added to complete the mixture, then would be

compressed at a specific temperature. It is cut to its desired shape and sizes to form into

a biodegradable plastic bag.

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Hypothesis

The following statements are based on questions given by the researchers arriving

with intelligent predictions for the problems:

Ho: If Cassava (Manihot esculenta) starch can affect the properties of biodegradable

plastic bags, then it is a good alternative for making biodegradable plastic bags.

Significance of The Study

The study will focus on making cassava starch into a biodegradable plastic bags.

Moreover, the outcome of this study will be beneficial to the following:

Environment

This study will be beneficial to the environment because the use of cassava starch

to make biodegradable plastic bags is the significant reduction in the carbon emissions

that happen during the manufacturing process as compared to that of regular plastic. Not

just that, since the materials used to create biodegradable plastics are plant based,

minimal carbon is emitted during the composting process.

Society

This study benefits the society in a way that they take a lot less time to decompose

than traditional plastics, they are easy to recycle, that’s too without releasing toxic

elements. They are moldable as traditional plastics and can be turned into various

appealing ways to suit the community’s requirements.

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Consumers

This study of making cassava starch into biodegradable plastics bags are viewed

as a sustainable business practice by CEOs and consumers alike. Companies adopting

biodegradable plastics are often seen by consumers as being preferable to companies

that are not earth-conscious, which can benefit employees and shareholders who stand

to gain from higher corporate profits.

Community

This study benefits the community in a way that biodegradable plastics bags made

from cassava starch decompose over time, reducing the amount of total waste in landfills.

On the other hand, regular plastics do not breakdown quickly, resulting in landfills that

only grow larger with time and contains potentially toxic chemicals that degrade in a

harmful way. Instead, biodegradable plastics result in better outcomes, since they

integrate back into the environment more cleanly.

Future Researchers

The findings of the study will serve as a reference material and a guide for future

researchers who wish to conduct the same experimental or any study related to

sustainable energy source.

Scope and Limitations

This study will be conducted through cassava starches to be processed to create

usable biodegradable plastic bags. The estimated budget for the production cost would

range from 2000 to 3000 pesos. The span of time in creating the experiment will rely if

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the materials are complete, but most likely it does not exceed for a week The study will

be conducted within the area of Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines. The

researchers will strictly follow the Dipolog City Ordinance No. 13-245 otherwise known as

"An Ordinance Regulating the Sale, Distribution or Use of Non-Compostable Plastic Bag

such as Thin Film, Single-Use Carryout Plastic Bags and Polysterene Foam Products

(Styrofoam/Styropor) Within the Territorial Jurisdiction of Dipolog City" since the

researchers are using the concept of plastic in the study. The proposed research will only

be applicable in testing its durability, elasticity, and water insolubility and its time to

decompose and further observations will follow.

Definition of Terms

Biodegradable plastic bag- a bag made from cassava starches that can easily

decompose.

Cassava Starch- used as an additive that adds to the decomposing property to the

biodegradable plastic.

Durability- the capacity of the biodegradable plastic bag from cassava starch to hold a

certain amount of load before it tears.

Epoxinated soybean oil (ESBO) – acts as a stabilizer in the experiment

Glycerol/glycerine – the plasticizer component of the experiment

Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA)- acts as a binder.

Time to decompose- the span of time for the biodegradable plastic bag from cassava

starch to decay in soil and break down.

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Water solubility – the characteristic of the biodegradable plastic bag from cassava starch

to dissolve in water.

Sustainability – it is used as a components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate

that does not lead to the long-term decline of biological diversity, thereby maintaining its

potential to meet the needs and aspirations of present and future generations.

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CHAPTER II

Review of Related Literature

This section includes the overview of literatures and studies concerning the topic

that encompasses the background on Cassava (Manihot Esculenta) Starch as an

Alternative to Biodegradable Plastic Bags and the process of biodegradable plastic

cassava making.

2.1 Plastics: Its Components and Uses

According to Woodford, C. (2019) "plastic" is thought as a single material, but there

are in fact many different plastics. What they have in common is that they're plastic, which

means they are soft and easy to turn into many different forms during manufacture.

Plastics are (mostly) synthetic (human-made) materials, made from polymers, which are

long molecules built around chains of carbon atoms, typically with hydrogen, oxygen,

sulfur, and nitrogen filling in the spaces. The word polymer comes from two Greek words:

poly, meaning many, and meros, meaning parts or units. A polymer can be thought of as

a chain in which each link is the “mer,” or monomer (single unit).

In relation to this, plastics are used in a growing range of applications in the

construction industry. They have great versatility and combine excellent strength to

weight ratio, durability, cost effectiveness, low maintenance and corrosion resistance

which make plastics an economically attractive choice throughout the construction sector.

Plastics is also the perfect material for use in packaging goods. Plastics is hygenic,

lightweight, flexible and highly durable. It accounts for the largest usage of plastics world

wide and is used in numerous packaging applications including containers, bags, bottles,

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drums, trays, boxes, cups and vending packaging, baby products and protection

packaging. (British Plastic Federation, 2019)

Hiskey, D. (2019) found out that the word plastic existed long before the first

plastic, Parkesine. Plastic was invented in the 1860s, and became one of the fastest-

growing global industries in the 1940s. As early as the 1600’s, plastic was used as a term

to relate to something that could be easily molded or shaped. Plastic is derived from the

Latin word plasticus and the Greek word plastikos, both meaning ‘able to be molded,

pertaining to molding’. Most likely, Greeks used plastikos to describe unhardened

versions of clay. The first kind of artificial plastic called parkesina was created in 1856 by

the English chemist Alexander Parkes. In 1862 at the International Exhibition of London

and in 1867 at the Exposition Universelle of Paris he showed a series of objects made of

this semisynthetic resin which recalled ivory.

2.2 Plastic Production

In addition, Geyer (2017) wrote in an online journal that plastics production has

grown in the past 65 years and has outnumbered and outpaced other materials when it

comes to manufacturing. These plastics have become so versatile in many ways-

durability and degradation resistance that it has become impossible for nature to

assimilate them back. So, some studies aimed to find solution to minimize the use of

plastics by finding alternatives that has the same use and purpose for plastics but has

different formula that will allow it to decompose through time. One example for this is the

biodegradable bags made from Cassava starch.

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2.3 Components of Cassava and Its Uses

Cassava (Manihot Esculenta) has its origin in Latin America where it has been

grown by the indigenous Indian population for at least 4000 years. Cassava are not only

used as food but also in many different ways that have been process widely in agriculture

and poultry. As in Myanmar, the cassava roots are harvested in Tanintharyi Region, Mon

State, Yangon Region and other tropical places as well (Thu, 2015). The starch from

Cassava is a very good material for producing biodegradable plastics.

According to Guzman, M.G. et al., that cassava starch can be used as a substitute

in producing biodegradable plastic. The plastic derived from cassava starch is not only

biodegradable, and also has good quality with regards to translucency. The most

abundant raw material for the development of biodegradable plastics is starch due to its

in large availability quantity. In addition, conventional plastics have certain properties that

make them “distinct”, recyclable plastics are going to be demanded in majority in the near

future because of its environmentally friendly in all methods of production would be used

extremely.

2.4 Biodegradable Plastics Made from Cassava Starch and Its Process

The significance of bioplastic is to maintain a sustainable environment and to prevent

or lessen the disposal of synthetic plastic wastes that causes damage in our world. The

used of bioplastic from cassava starch is reinforced with nanoclay from renewable

resources. Nanoclay in cassava starch bioplastic enhanced the highest structure of

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bioplastic which this structure able to increase the stretchable strength and reduce water

absorption of bioplastic. (Wahyuningtiyas, N.K., & Suryanto, H., 2018).

Bio-based plastic are plastics made from biomass. The production of bio-based

plastics is expected to grow rapidly, since the environmental issues are becoming more

illustrious. Thereby, is the depletion of fossil fuels another motivator to search for

alternatives (Shen et al., 2010). According to Posen, Jaramillo and Griffin (2016), the bio-

based plastics only accounted for less than one percent of the global thermoplastic

production. This is expected to grow to 4.4 percent, reaching nearly seven million tonnes

(Mt) by 2018.

According to Mulyono N. et al., (2015), a big environment concern is the gathered

waste of non-degradable plastics. Agricultural resources have been collected and used

to produce renewable, biodegradable, and even more edible packaging. It creates a hug

expectation for more ecological and economically viable alternative to minimize the

environmental impact. One of the most commonly used is cassava flour, these

biopolymers as food packaging material because it is nontoxic, biodegradable,

biocompatible, low cost, renewable and abundantly available in nature. Its major

component is starch, but it may contain a small amount of lipid, protein, fiber and ash.

In Indonesia, cassava is one of the cheapest and common root vegetables across

the country. Bioplastic contains cassava starch, vegetable oil, and organic resins. The

material is biodegradable and compostable, breaking down over a period of months on

land or at sea. However, it dissolves instantly in hot water.

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In making the bioplastic made from cassava, a polyvinyl alcohol(PVA), Epoxidized

Soybean oil(ESO), and a glycerin/glycerol are the materials that needs to be present.

According to Sampaolo, M. (2016), a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is a colourless, water-

soluble synthetic resin employed principally in the treating of textiles and paper. PVA is

used in sizing agents that give greater strength to textile yarns and make paper more

resistant to oils and greases. It is also employed as a component of adhesives and

emulsifiers, as a water-soluble protective film, and as a starting material for the

preparation of other resins.

Furthermore, Epoxidized soybean oil (ESO) is the oxidation product of soybean oil

with hydrogen peroxide and either acetic or formic acid obtained by converting the double

bonds into epoxy groups, which is non-toxic and of higher chemical reactivity. ESO is

mainly used as a green plasticizer for polyvinyl chloride, while the reactive epoxy groups

imply its great potential in both the monomer synthesis and the polymer preparation fields.

Functional polymers are obtained by different kinds of reactions of the ESO with co-

monomers and/or initiators. (Tang et.al, 2018)

Lastly, Glycerine is a neutral and colorless liquid with a high boiling point, which

turns into paste when temperature decreases. It can be liquified in alcohol and water but

not in oils. Both alcohol and water can dissolve, but not in oils. It is also a brilliant solvent,

and many different mixtures can be simply dissolved into the component (Brown, 2017).

According to Girao et.al. (2010), In the process in making bioplastic cassava,

measured amounts of water and starch must be mixed and boiled, using a hot plate until

it forms into a sticky paste. After removing the starch-water mixture from the hot plate, the

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rest of the materials were added such as PVA, ESO and glycerin. After mixing all the

materials, the mixture was passed through a roll-mill with a designated temperature of118

degrees to 120 degrees Centigrade. Then, it was compressed, using a compressor with

a temperature of 130 degrees Centigrade for seven minutes. Several tests were

conducted to determine the mechanical properties of the samples. The plastics were

inspected to determine their opacity, translucency and transparency.

Conclusion:

All the desired information in this chapter was analyzed and taken from

previous related literature, studies and articles about the specific variables used in this

study. All information was conceptualized and provided that involves the specific

materials used and how it is processed thoroughly.

Numerous studies on Biodegradable Plastic Bags as an alternative to

cassava starch have be

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CHAPTER III

Methodology

This chapter presents the research design, materials and equipment, treatments

and variables, general procedure, and the data processing that will be used in this study.

Research Design

This study will use the experimental research design because this type of research

design is most suitable to this study. This study will be conducted with a scientific

approach so experimental is used where a set of variables will be kept constant while

other sets of variables are going to be measured as the subject. The experimental

variables will be manipulated as well as the treatment and the subjects, therefore true-

experimental research design will be used.

Materials and Equipment

The materials that will be used in this study are cassava starch, glycerol or

glycerine, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), water, ESBO (epoxinated soybean oil). Tools and

equipment will include hot plate, thermometer, roll-mill, and compressor.

Treatments and Variables

Treatment 1:

50g (32.26%) cassava starch, 50g (32.26%) water, 50g

(32.26%) PVA, 2.5g (1.61%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.61%) glycerol

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Treatment 2:

65g (35.1%) cassava starch, 65g (35.1%) water, 50g (27%)

PVA, 2.5g (1.4%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.4%) glycerol

Treatment 3:

80g (37.21%) cassava starch, 65g (37.21%) water, 50g

(23.26%) PVA, 2.5g (1.16%) ESBO, 2.5g (1.16%) glycerol

General Procedure

In order to make the cassava starch into a biodegradable bag, three setups with

the same materials were prepared.

Step 1: The researchers poured measured amounts of cassava starch, water, and

glycerin in the pot.

Step 2: The pot was placed in a hot plate and was turned on low fire.

Step 3: Stir the mixture. The researchers kept on stirring until a sticky paste was

formed.

Step 4: The hot plate was turned off and the mixture was poured in the container.

Then, the rest of the materials were added including the Epoxinated Soybean Oil (EBSO)

and Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA).

Step 5: All the materials are mixed again then will pass through a roll-mill with a

temperature of 118 degrees to 120 degrees Centigrade.

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Step 6: It was compressed using a compressor with a temperature of 130 degrees

Centigrade for seven minutes and will be spread evenly and kept as thin as possible. The

samples produced were cut with a length of 44.5cm and a width of 28cm for testing.

Data Processing

ASTM D882 TENSILE TESTING OF THIN

PLASTIC SHEETING. Durability of the

biodegradable plastic bags from cassava starch

are measured using tensile test where force is

required to break a sample specimen until it

stretch and elongates to its breaking point.

Elongation and tensile modulus can be

calculated from crosshead displacement, or with

an extensometer.

ASTM 570 WATER ABSORBTION OF PLASTICS. This test will determine the rate of

water absorption of plastics. This is

intended to test plastics of all type

including cast, hot molded, cold

molded and both homogenous and

laminated plastics. Specimens will be

dried in an oven for a specific time and

temperature and then placed in a

desiccator to cool. The specimens are then weighed Immediately upon cooling down. The

material is then emerged in water at agreed upon conditions, often 23°C for 24 hours or

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until equilibrium. Specimens are removed, patted dry with a lint free cloth, and weighed.

Water rate absorption is then expressed as increase in weight percent.

ASTM D5338 Aerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under Controlled

Composting Conditions. This test

method will determine the rate of

aerobic biodegradation of plastics

expose to a controlled- composting

environment under laboratory

conditions at a controlled temperature.

Data Analysis

Inferential Statistics

Method: Hypothesis Testing

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