Innovative Green Plastics The Twentieth century was filled with many inventions that have greatly influenced our world. The invention of plastic was one of the most dramatic of them all. Humans use plastics each and every day and just imagining a day without them is inconceivable. A material can be a plastic if it satisfies three conditions:
Plastics from Plants vs. Petroleum Plastics from Plants vs. Petroleum By Staff writer. Apr 19,5: And despite widespread public outrage about the harmful environmental impacts of plastic bottles and bags, among other ubiquitous items of daily life, only about one percent of that is recycled.
Plastic is cheap and convenient for everyone, and recycling is a confusing hassle. In some cases, it can even do more harm than good.
Fortunately, technologies and consumer demands for greener products have created an entire industry dedicated to changing the resources used for the products in our throw-away culture—bioplastics PLA.
Derived from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable oils, corn starch or microbiota, bioplastics are not only petroleum-free, but usually designed to biodegrade. If recycled with other plastics, sorting machines will remove PLA items from PET streams; if burned, toxic emissions are avoided due to its renewable bases; and if PLA ends up in a landfill, it will at least break down a lot quicker than traditional plastics, which could take thousands of years to fully degrade.
However, improved technologies and formulas coupled with high oil prices are creating a bourgeoning commercial market for a variety of alternatives to traditional plastics. Unlike the volatile prices of fossil fuels, crops used for bioplastics are not subject to fluctuations of the price of oil per barrel.
Manufacturing also usually takes place at lower levels of heat, further bringing down production costs and energy usage.
Check out April's issue of Energy Digital! One of the leading companies in this arena is Cereplast. In the following interview, Energy Digital gets a peek into the industry from the expert himself. Why did you choose to pursue bioplastics? The idea started out in my garage with my wife, as I got involved in bioplastics over 20 years ago, at a time when no one really had any interest in bioplastics.
I could see that there was a trend moving toward biodegradable and compostable plastic products across many industries. My vision was to take care of the environment, and I wanted to offer the world eco-friendly products that needed to be made from different resources here in the United States.
It was time to create and propose an alternative to petroleum-based products. You can say that I was on a quest to define and educate the market on bioplastics. I founded the Biodegradable Product Institute BPI — a nonprofit association that makes sure every product said to be biodegradable actually met the scientific data to deem it so.
Cereplast products are certified biodegradable by numerous independent agencies.
The products are fully compostable in commercial facilities within days, leaving no chemical residue. Cereplast products can be discarded with food waste — no separation required. We believe the real competition comes from the entrenched raw materials providers and processors — the large diversified energy and chemical companies.
Cereplast expects the U. The predicted boom will be fueled by demand from a variety of markets including the cosmetics industry, which can boost market share for bioplastics to 30 percent of the total U.
Freedonia, a consulting firm estimates that the global demand for bioplastics will grow nearly 35 percent annually through Cereplast's try at a biodegradable SunChips bag for Frito-Lay was met with mass consumer complaints about the louder noise that came with the new packaging, forcing the snack giant to switch back to its original material for the most part.
A quieter, second-generation bag is now being tested on customers before other varieties are reconsidered for the packaging makeover.
For some, convenience will always trump "green.Simply throw a corn plastic product out of your car or bury it in a backyard-composting heap and the material will stand the test of time just as regular PET plastics will.
If commercial composting isn't available, PLA plastics can wind up following conventional plastics into the landfill or into plastic recycling programs. Base Oil Groups. The entire range of base oils, including conventional petroleum products, are divided into five groups based on the level of saturates (saturated molecules), sulfur and viscosity index.
In general, the chemical composition and performance properties of the base oil categories improve with advancing group number.
BIOPLASTICS VERSUS CONVENTIONAL PLASTICS CAN THEY REALLY MAKE A SUSTAINABLE CASE FROM CRADLE TO of oil into Gulf of Mexico. 13 Raw Material Sustainability Conventional Plastics Bio-based Conventional Compostable Exceptional packaging performance: • Moisture & gas.
Plantics aims to tackle the global environmental problems of plastic pollution with innovative and cost-saving bio-plastic solutions that have a high impact through commercial success. at such low-cost that it can compete economically with conventional oil-based plastics.
The competition due to its low-cost it can compete . Utilization of plant oil as renewable raw material for monomers and polymers in bioplastic industry has a great potential to replace conventional petroleum-based plastic usage especially in.
Bio-based plastics are predicted to make up 5% of all manufactured plastics in , and 40% of all manufactured plastics in Ceresana predicts that when bioplastics reach 5% of the plastics market in , the market for bio-based plastics will be worth billion dollars, three times the size of the bioplastics market in