Melt stabilization of polyethylene with natural antioxidants: comparison of a natural extract and its main component

Balázs Kirschweng, Benedek Vörös, Mohammed Arroussi, Dóra Tátraaljai, M. Zsuga, Béla Pukánszky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The efficiency of the natural extract, silymarin, was compared to its main component, silybin in the processing stabilization of polyethylene. The two compounds were applied as primary antioxidants in the concentration range of 0–500 ppm in combination with 1000 ppm Sandostab PEPQ phosphorous secondary stabilizer. The efficiency of the stabilizers was determined by the measurement of the concentration of unsaturated groups, the amount of residual PEPQ, melt flow rate (MFR), oxidation induction time and color of polymer samples taken after consecutive extrusion steps. The comparison showed that at large concentrations, the extract is more efficient than the pure compound; the vinyl group content and MFR of the polymer are preserved more in the presence on the extract than with silybin. The residual stability of the polymer containing silymarin is also slightly better at the same additive content than that prepared with silybin. Larger efficiency is explained by the smaller bond dissociation enthalpies of the most active phenolic hydroxyl groups of some of the components of the extract. The larger solubility of silymarin resulting from its amorphous character and the presence of the accompanying components of the extract also contributes to its better efficiency. At small concentrations, silymarin proved to be inferior to silybin, which was explained by the interaction of the components. The use of the extract seems to be more advantageous because it is more efficient and significantly cheaper than its pure main component. On the other hand, the stabilizing efficiency of silymarin and the related compounds is inferior to other flavonoids like quercetin, dihydromyricetin or rutin.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • Bond dissociation enthalpy
  • Long chain branching
  • Processing stabilization
  • Residual stability
  • Self-stability
  • Silybin
  • Silymarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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