Biodegradable foam plastics based on castor oil

Hong Juan Wang, Min Zhi Rong, Ming Qiu Zhang, Jing Hu, Hui Wen Chen, Tibor Czigány

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

95 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, a simple but effective approach was proposed for preparing biodegradable plastic foams with a high content of castor oil. First of all, castor oil reacted with maleic anhydride to produce maleated castor oil (MACO) without the aid of any catalyst. Then plastic foams were synthesized through free radical initiated copolymerization between MACO and diluent monomer styrene. With changes in MACO/St ratio and species of curing initiator, mechanical properties of MACO foams can be easily adjusted. In this way, biofoams with comparable compressive stress at 25% strain as commercial polyurethane (PU) foams were prepared, while the content of castor oil can be as high as 61 wt %. The soil burial tests further proved that the castor oil based foams kept the biodegradability of renewable resources despite the fact that some petrol-based components were introduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-623
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Wang, H. J., Rong, M. Z., Zhang, M. Q., Hu, J., Chen, H. W., & Czigány, T. (2008). Biodegradable foam plastics based on castor oil. Biomacromolecules, 9(2), 615-623.