These are a type of plastic that can be broken down by natural processes such as bacteria or fungal decomposition, unlike traditional plastics that can take hundreds or thousands of years to decompose. These plastics have been developed to help reduce the negative impact of plastic waste on the environment, and they are made using a variety of raw materials. In this article, we will explore some of the most commonly used raw materials for manufacturing biodegradable plastics.
Starch is one of the most widely used raw materials for manufacturing biodegradable plastics. This material is derived from corn, wheat, potato, or cassava. It is first processed into a powder that is then mixed with other biodegradable materials to create a plastic-like substance. The starch-based plastics are transparent, flexible, and can be molded into different shapes. They are commonly used in packaging materials, disposable cutlery, and food containers.
Cellulose is another commonly used raw material for manufacturing biodegradable plastics. It is derived from plants, and it is the most abundant organic polymer on earth. Cellulose-based plastics are biodegradable and compostable. They can be used to make bags, packaging materials, and even textiles. They are also transparent, and they have high stretchy strength.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are a class of biodegradable polymers that are produced by bacterial fermentation of various feedstocks, including cornstarch, sugarcane, and vegetable oil. PHA is a thermoplastic, and it has a wide range of physical properties, including flexibility, toughness, and biodegradability. PHA-based plastics are used in the production of food packaging, consumer products, and medical devices.
Polybutylene Succinate (PBS)
Polybutylene succinate (PBS) is a biodegradable thermoplastic polyester that is derived from succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol. PBS is biodegradable and compostable, and it has good mechanical properties. PBS-based plastics are used in the production of food packaging, agricultural films, and consumer products.
Polylactic Acid (PLA)
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable thermoplastic aliphatic polyester that is derived from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugar cane. PLA is biodegradable, compostable, and has good mechanical properties. PLA-based plastics are used in the production of food packaging, consumer products, and medical devices.
Polyglycolic Acid (PGA)
Polyglycolic acid (PGA) is a biodegradable thermoplastic polyester that is derived from glycolic acid. PGA is a strong, tough, and flexible material that is used in the production of absorbable repair, medical implants, and drug delivery systems.
Polyethylene Oxide (PEO)
Polyethylene oxide (PEO) is a water-soluble biodegradable polymer that is derived from ethylene oxide. PEO is used in the production of drug delivery systems, wound dressings, and other medical applications. It is also used as an additive in other biodegradable plastics to enhance their physical properties.
In conclusion, biodegradable plastics are made using a variety of raw materials, including starch, cellulose, PHA, PBS, PLA, PGA, and PEO. These materials are derived from renewable resources and have various physical properties that make them suitable for different applications. Biodegradable plastics have the potential to significantly reduce the negative impact of plastic waste on the environment, and they are becoming increasingly popular in various industries.