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Bioplastics Performance Thrusts

SpecialChem / Feb 26, 2007

There are two general approaches to the production of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), production in microbial factories and production in plants. Current production uses fermentation to produce PHA. There are two main types of biopolymers namely, those that come from living organisms, and those which need to be polymerized but come from renewable resources. Both types are used in the production of bioplastics. Biopolymers that are present in, or created by living organisms include carbohydrates and proteins, and can be used in the production of plastics for commercial purposes. Examples include polyester, starch, cellulose, and soy protein. Molecules from renewable natural resources can be polymerized to be used in the manufacture of biodegradable plastics. The resulting polymers give rise to materials with extremely different properties ranging from rigid to highly elastic. They can be either thermoplastic or elastomeric, with melting-points ranging from 40 to 180°C, making them suitable for films, fibers, adhesives, coatings, molded goods, and a variety of other applications.

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