Biotech Articles
Publish Your Research Online
Get Recognition - International Audience

Request for an Author Account   |   Login   |   Submit Article
 
 
HOME FAQ TOP AUTHORS FORUMS PUBLISH ARTICLE
 
 

Bioplastics - As Green Alternative to Plastics

BY: Sandeep Kumar | Category: Environmental-Biotechnology | Submitted: 2015-05-02 05:11:54
       No Photo
Article Summary: "The use of plastics has shown a negative impact on the environment from the aspects of human health and there is need to overcome these effects. This can be achieved with the help of bioplastics which are produced from renewable biomass sources..."


Share with Facebook Share with Linkedin Share with Twitter Share with Pinterest Email this article
     


The use of plastics has shown a negative effect on the environment from the aspects of human health, and natural resources. So, there is a pressing need to overcome these effects with the help of degradable plastic. Therefore, in this context bioplastics or organic plastics have attained much more importance now a day because of environmental friendly nature. These compounds can be used for conservation of fossil resources and reduction in CO2 emissions which makes them an attractive innovation for sustainable development. These are produced from renewable biomass sources viz., vegetable oil, corn starch, pea starch, cellulose, lignin (wood), and proteins and also derived from linked molecules that form long polymer chains (biopolymers).

BA_3377_a
Image Source: http://making-biodiesel-books.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/bioplastics.jpg

What are biodegradable bioplastics?

Biodegradable bioplastic is a form of plastic derived from renewable biomass that can be broken
down in the environment by micro-organisms (Mooney, 2009). These are categorized into four classes.

1. Starch-based bioplastics can be made from either raw or modified starch (e.g. thermoplastic starch or TPS) or from the fermentation of starch-derived sugars (e.g. polylactic acid or PLA). Maize, wheat, potatoes and cassava are the examples of common starch sources.

2. Cellulose-based bioplastics are basically chemically-modified plant cellulose materials such as cellulose acetate (CA). Examples of cellulose sources are wood pulp, hemp and cotton.

3. Lignin-based bioplastics- mainly contain lignocellulosic plant material produced as a byproduct of the paper milling industry.

4. Plant proteins such as maize 'zein' can can also be used for synthesis of bioplastics.

What are non-biodegradable bioplastics?

These are a form of plastic derived from renewable biomass that cannot be easily broken down in the environment by micro-organisms. These are categorized into two types.

Conventional plastic resins- can be derived from plant oils and are synthesized using compounds extracted from castor, soya bean or oilseed rape oil. Examples- polyurethane (PU) produced from soya bean oil and nylon (polyamides or PAs) made using castor bean oil.

Conventional polyethylene (PE)- can be manufactured from bioethanol.

Polyhydroxybutyrate- A biodegradable plastic substrate

Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is synthesized from acetyl-CoA which used as precursor. These are used for the synthesis of biodegradable plastics with thermoplastic properties. At present, these are produced by bacterial fermentation but the cost of this plastic is substantially higher than that of synthetic plastics. To overcome this problem attempts are being made to produce PHAs in transgenic plants to reduce the cost. Genes encoding the two enzymes, aceto-acetyl-CoA reductase (phb B) and PHB synthase (phbC), and the gene phbA, which are involved in the PHB synthesis, have been identified from Ralstonia eutropha. These genes have been transferred and expressed into Arabidopsis thaliana (Mooney, 2009). These are receiving commercial interest as a promising candidate for the production of biodegradable thermopalstics due to the role played by them.

BA_3377_b
Image Source: http://2008.igem.org/wiki/images/thumb/6/6d/PHBpathway.jpg/300px PHB pathway.jpg

Applications of Bioplastics:

More than half of bioplastics are currently used in various areas viz., in packaging applications such as bottles, film, and loosefill. These are also used in waste collection bags, carrier bags, mulch-film and food serviceware. Along with packaging applications, bioplastics are currently used in automotive parts and electronics housings.

Starch-based bioplastics (eg. TPS) have been used to manufacture food serviceware and also for carrier bags. Polylactic acid which is a starch based sugar fermentation product is mainly used in cold drinks cups and bottles, food packaging film and containers, carpets and clothing. PLA can also be used to manufacture CDs and electronics casings.

Cellulose acetate films are used in food and consumer goods packaging.

Lignin-based bioplastics are also having applications in electronics housings and golf tees.

References:

1. http://en.european-bioplastics.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/fs/Bioplastics_eng.pdf

2. Mooney, B. P. 2009. The second green revolution? Production of plant-based biodegradable plastics. Biochem. J, 418, 219-232.



About Author / Additional Info:
I am currently pursuing Ph. D in Environmental science

Search this site & forums
Share this article with friends:



Share with Facebook Share with Linkedin Share with Twitter Share with Pinterest Email this article

More Social Bookmarks (Digg etc..)


Comments on this article: (0 comments so far)

Comment By Comment

Leave a Comment   |   Article Views: 3284



Additional Articles:

•   Overview of Biomolecules

•   Stevia Rebaudiana as a Fertilizer

•   Quality Testing of the Compost

•   Natural Immunomodulator to Enhance Immune Response




Latest Articles in "Environmental-Biotechnology" category:
•   Advantages and Disadvantages of Biofuels

•   Phytoremediation For Heavy Metals

•   Biotechnology For a Clean Environment

•   Methods of Wastewater Treatment

•   Steps Involved in Nitrogen Cycle

•   Biotechnology and Environment Protection

•   Greenhouse Effect - Importance and Types

•   Biological Degradation of Xenobiotics

•   Phytoremediation - Greener Approach to Control Pollution

•   Impact of Waste Management

•   Waste Water Treatment Steps: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Treatment

•   Bioremediation - A Weapon to Tackle Oil Spills

•   Phytoremediation - Use of green plants to remove pollutants

•   The History of Botany | Botanists in Philippines

•   Bioremediation by Cold Tolerant Microbes

•   Cold Adaptation by Microorganisms

•   Succession Stages of Xerosere

•   The Climax Concept - Theories and Categories

•   Succession Stages of Hydrosere



Important Disclaimer: All articles on this website are for general information only and is not a professional or experts advice. We do not own any responsibility for correctness or authenticity of the information presented in this article, or any loss or injury resulting from it. We do not endorse these articles, we are neither affiliated with the authors of these articles nor responsible for their content. Please see our disclaimer section for complete terms.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
Copyright © 2010 biotecharticles.com - Do not copy articles from this website.

ARTICLE CATEGORIES :
Agriculture Bioinformatics Applications Biotech Products Biotech Research
Biology Careers College/Edu DNA Environmental Biotech
Genetics Healthcare Industry News Issues Nanotechnology
Others Stem Cells Press Release Toxicology  


  |   Disclaimer/Privacy/TOS   |   Submission Guidelines   |   Contact Us