New Bioplastic Made From Fatty Waste Degrades In One Year

Traditional plastics are made from non-renewable petroleum and take centuries to degrade. German scientists have developed a new plastic alternative that should break down within 12 months.

The scientists at Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems & Design Technology made this eco-friendly plastic from industrial waste, particularly fats, containing significant residual mineral levels.

What is the process of producing this new bioplastic? In a fermentation chamber, genetically modified bacteria metabolize the fats’ residual minerals, turning them into a biopolymer called polyhydroxy butyrate (PHB). The bacteria store the PHB in their cells in liquid form as a source of energy. Then, once the PHB has dissolved out of the microbe, proprietary chemical additives – among other things, are combined, causing the PHB to harden more quickly.

New Bioplastic Made From Fatty Waste Degrades In One Year
Award-winning biodegradable and compostable plastic made from fish waste, called MarinaTex. (Credit: James Dyson Award)

The results show a biologically derived polyester that’s claimed to exhibit properties comparable to those of polypropylene. If this PHB-based polyester is tossed in a landfill, naturally occurring micro-organisms will likely break it down completely within 6 to 12 months.

There is no shortage of bioplastic innovations created by scientists worldwide, some of which include plastic made from:

Now, we can add fatty waste to that list too!

The post New Bioplastic Made From Fatty Waste Degrades In One Year appeared first on Intelligent Living.

New Bioplastic Made From Fatty Waste Degrades In One Year