Aminoalcohol functionalized zirconium phosphate as versatile filler for starch-based composite membranes

Monica Pica*, Anna Donnadio, Valentina Bianchi, Sacha Fop, Mario Casciola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Microcrystalline zirconium phosphate was exfoliated by treatment with aqueous solutions of α,ω-alkylaminoalcohols and employed for the fabrication of potato starch composite membranes. Glycerol-based and glycerol-free composite membranes, containing 5 wt% of filler, were prepared from gelatinized starch and characterized for their physico-chemical properties. Despite of a partial filler reaggregation, as revealed by XRD and SEM analysis, all the composites exhibited a significant increase in the Young's modulus with respect to the glycerol-starch membrane, up to 80% and 190% for the glycerolbased and the glycerol-free composites, respectively. For both kinds of membranes the filler delays to a large extent the starch decomposition above about 300 °C. A significant reduction in the water uptake of the composites was also observed with respect to the neat glycerol-based membrane, up to about 70% for the glycerol-free composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-216
Number of pages7
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Issue number1
Early online date1 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2013

Bibliographical note


The authors wish to thank Novamont S.p.A. for financial support within the project “Studio, sperimentazione e realizzazione di innovativi nanocompositi plastici biodegradabili a base di olio vegetale e amido nanostrutturato con proprietà meccaniche e funzionali programmate, per la realizzazione di imballaggi ultrasottili” and Dr. Alessandro Di Michele of the LUNA Laboratory, at the Physics Department of Perugia University, for collecting SEM pictures.


  • Aminoalcohol
  • Composite membrane
  • Mechanical properties
  • Starch
  • Water uptake
  • Zirconium phosphate


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