What Are The Uses Of Biodegradable Polymers Environmental Sciences Essay

Biodegradable polymers were developed several decennaries ago, but their all-out commercial application formed really easy. Such state of affairss had a topographic point because they were by and large more expensive and have less stable physical belongingss than conventional plastics. In add-on, there was small inducement for manufacturers of plastic merchandises in order to include biodegradable stuffs in their merchandises. However, state of affairs greatly changed and now biodegradable polymers are in country of research workers ‘ involvement, because they could be use in medical specialty, agribusiness, packaging and many other countries.

ISO definition of the construct “ biodegradable ”

Harmonizing to Narayan and Pettigrew ( 1999 ) we see that the American Society for Testing of Materials ( ASTM ) and the International Standards Organization ( ISO ) define degradable plastics as stuff that undergoes an indispensable alteration in its chemical construction under the influence of specific environmental conditions. It is necessary to add to this definition that precisely these indispensable alterations result in a loss of non merely physical, but besides mechanical belongingss. Naturally happening micro-organism, which are presented by bacteriums, algae and fungi greatly influence on biodegradable plastics and alter its quality and construction. Gross and Bhanu ( 2002 ) stated that “ plastics may besides be designated as photodegradable, oxidatively degradable, hydrolytically degradable, or those which may be composted. ” True definition of the term “ biodegradable ” was the object of great public involvement between October 1990 and June 1992, when it was the chief subject of arguments and cases.

Structure and green chemical science of biodegradable polymers

Natural and man-made polymers incorporating links, which are easy hydrolysed, possess a high potency for biodegradation. The presence of components in the polymer concatenation frequently promotes biological debasement. The last besides depends on the grade of permutation and concatenation length of its subdivisions between the functional groups, the flexibleness of supermolecules.

An of import factor, which determines the stableness of the biodegradable polymer, is the value of its molecules. Simon, Muller, Koch and Muller ( 1998 ) proved that while micro-organisms may impact monomers or oligomers and function them a beginning of C, polymers with high molecular mass are immune to the action of micro-organisms. Biodegradation of most proficient polymers typically initiate the procedure of non-biological nature ( thermic and photo-oxidation, thermolysis, mechanical debasement, etc. ) . These debasement processes lead to take down molecular weight polymer. This gives rise to low molecular bio assimilated fragments holding at the terminals of the concatenation hydroxyl, carbonyl or carboxyl groups.

We see that polymers ironss by the chemical hydrolysis may be broken down and consequences of such green chemical science presented in the figure 2. Gross and Kalra ( 2002 ) explained this procedure in the following manner: “ BPs are frequently derived from works processing of atmospheric CO2. Biodegradation converts them to CO2, CH4, H2O, biomass, humic affair, and other natural substances. BPs are therefore of course recycled by biological procedures. ”

Features of biodegradable polymers

Unlike most plastics, biodegradable polymers can interrupt down in the environment with the aid of micro-organisms such as bacteriums or Fungis. The polymer is normally considered biodegradable, if all of its mass is decomposed in dirt or H2O for a period of six months. In many instances, the decay merchandises are carbon dioxide and H2O. Any other decomposition merchandises or residues must be investigated for the presence of toxic substances and safety.

Biodegradable polymers can be produced from renewable beginnings, such as extracted from maize sugar, or they can be produced from petrochemical natural stuffs. They can be used entirely or in combination with other plastic rosins and additives. It is necessary to advert that biodegradable polymers can be processed by most standard engineerings for the production of plastics, including thermoforming, bulge, injection and blow casting.

Advanced engineerings and farther way of the biodegradable polymers development

Biodegradable polymers – is an advanced engineering that helps to protect the environment from the destructive action of plastic. Harmonizing to hypertext transfer protocol: //bprc.caeds.eng.uml.edu, preferring plastic with biodegradable additives, adult male cares non merely about nature, but besides about ain bag, significantly salvaging on waste disposal. Contamination of the environment today – is non a job of a individual state, but it is a job of the whole universe. One of the chief beginnings of refuse is fictile, because the period of its decomposition is over a hundred old ages. The manner out of this state of affairs may be widespread usage of oxy-biodegradable polymers ( oxy-biodegradable additives ) that cut down the term of the enlargement of plastic to five – eight old ages.

Swift ( 1998 ) said that a extremist solution to the job of the polymer refuse, harmonizing to experts, is the creative activity and development of a broad scope of polymers, capable, under appropriate conditions biodegrade into harmless for animate and inanimate nature constituents. We talk about biodegradable polymers and they will be the precedence for development, which would except a important figure of jobs with “ fictile refuse ” that arises when utilizing plastic containers and other merchandises made of polymers.


Therefore, taking into history all above stated information about biodegradable polymers we see that this inquiry has large positions in future and appraisal of the state of affairs to develop and bring forth biodegradable plastics can separate three chief waies of the development of hunt and applied research in this country:

– Polyether of hydrocarbon acids ;

– Plastics based on natural renewable polymers ;

– Give biodegradability to industrial high-molecular man-made stuffs.

For illustration, the company Cargill Dow is the universe ‘s first company, which has developed the production of plastics from yearly renewable resources. The company manufactures biodegradable polymer, under the trade name name “ Nature Works ” which is made of wort taken from the grains of wheat. This polymer is a stuff that is taken as manufactured bedclothes, vesture and packaging merchandises. These plastics can vie with packaging stuffs and traditional fibers for cost and quality.

Therefore, replacing the old coevals of polymeric stuffs for biodegradable polymers greenhouse vaporization will be reduced by 15-60 % . For the production of biodegradable polymers will be used in works biomass – murphies, maize, peas, Beta vulgariss, beans and rice and wheat. In add-on, American husbandmans will have strong support, as able to sell the straw, which they had antecedently burned, numbering about 20 billion dollars a twelvemonth.


Bhaskaran, R. US Biodegradable Polymer Market: Greening up for a better tomorrow! February 20, 2004. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //www.frost.com/prod/servlet/market-insight-top.pag? docid=10434867

Center for Biodegradable Polymer Research. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: //bprc.caeds.eng.uml.edu/

Gross, R. and Kalra, B. Biodegradable Polymers for the Environment. Science, vol. 297, August 2, 2002. Retrieved from hypertext transfer protocol: // % 20Polymers.pdf

Middleton, J. and Tipton, A. Synthetic Biodegradable Polymers as Medical Devices. Medical Plastics and Biomaterials Magazine, March, 1998.

Narayan, R. and Pettigrew, C. ASTM criterions aid define and turn a new biodegradable plastics industry. ASTM Standardization News. December: 36-42, 1999.

Simon, J. , Muller, H. , Koch, R. , Muller, V. Requirements for biodegradable H2O soluble polymers. Polymer Degradation and Stability. 59 ( 1-3 ) : 107-115, 1998.

Swift, G. Prerequisites for biodegradable plastic stuffs for credence in existent life composting workss and proficient facets. Polymer Degradation and Stability. 59 ( 1-3 ) : 19-24, 1998.