Bioplastics - It's a better choice - English 1
MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF BIOPLASTICS Researchers a
re constantly testing new raw materials. Wastes, residual products and new bacteria are being used to create new polymers. Many of these advances are still in the experimental stage, others are being scaled up in the production process. oday, research is underway that is looking at the production of bioplastics using third generation raw materials. The current focus is raw material sources that include carbon dioxide, lignin and algae. Of course, there is a high degree of interest in the carbon dioxide in the air around us, as this process would provide a fast-acting and very effective way to capture and sequester carbon. T One strategic motivation that could play a role is the desire to simplify the handling of soiled packaging so that it can be composted directly. However, this requires that the disposal method is adapted for high volume industrial composting and that the brand owners are on board. One very interesting area that is currently under development is biobased structural plastics (such as PA, PET, PEF). Structural plastics have more desirable properties than commodity plastics, but at a much higher price. Areas of application include the automotive industry and medical device industry. For example, castor oil-based polyamides are well established on the market today. The German company Covestro was the first to use carbon dioxide as a raw material in polyol for the production of PUR. Here, we will take a closer look at the largest commercial plastic families in the bioplastics industry, and for the sake of simplifying things, we will stick to the classifications, biodegradable and non-biodegradable (see the definitions in the previous chapter). The volumes for the two groups are currently about the same, but future regulatory action may affect this distribution. 18 BIOPLASTICS – IT'S A BETTER CHOICE The diagram shows the global production capacity of the most common bioplastics in 2018 and a breakdown between biodegradable bioplastics and non-biodegradable plastics.