Upgrading cardoon biomass into Polyhydroxybutyrate based blends: A holistic approach for the synthesis of biopolymers and additives

Rosa Turco, Iolanda Corrado, Domenico Zannini, Luca Gargiulo, Martino Di Serio, Cinzia Pezzella, Gabriella Santagata

Bioresource Technology Volume 363, November 2022, 127954



Cardoon, Cynara cardunculus L. represents a biorefinery crop with a great potential in the bioplastic field. This work investigates the valorization of different cardoon components into high added value products, finally recombined into novel upgraded bioplastics. Bioprocesses for Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) and medium-chain-length Polyhydroxyalkanoates (mcl-PHA) production were set up starting from root inulin and seed oil respectively, highlighting the effect of process conditions on polymer properties. The ternary blend, in which the PHB polymer matrix was added with mcl-PHA and epoxidized cardoon oil, evidenced a synergic effect of both additives in modulating PHB structural and thermal properties, promoted by the physical interaction occurring among the components. This proof-of concept frames the paper in the holistic approach of circular economy applied to bioplastic production.