What are the main types of degradable materials? Mar 23, 2023

Plastics are notoriously difficult to degrade naturally and may not degrade in nature for decades to hundreds of years. A lot of plastic waste goes straight into the ocean.

Even when plastic waste enters the natural environment, it is gradually broken up by various physical and chemical processes in nature to form smaller fragments, which are called microplastics. Microplastics migrate through nature and even enter the food chain with wind and water. They have a high chance of being eaten by animals. The more plastic affects Marine life, the more it kills.

Faced with such a problem, it is urgent to tackle plastic pollution, and the world is banning plastic. So there are all kinds of biodegradable materials.

Biodegradable materials can be divided into natural biodegradable polymer materials, microbial biodegradable polymer materials and chemical biodegradable polymer materials according to the material source and production process.

Chemosynthetic polymer materials are synthetic polymers based on petroleum resources. Aliphatic polyesters are very important in the chemical synthesis of degradable polymer materials and are suitable for large-scale production.

The following are some typical degradable polyester materials.

1. The polylactic acid

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a new kind of biodegradable material, which is synthesized by chemical synthesis of starch from biodegradable plant resources. It has good biodegradability and can be completely degraded by microorganisms in nature to generate carbon dioxide and water. It will not pollute the environment and is very conducive to protecting the environment. It is recognized as an environmentally friendly material. Polylactic acid is buried in the soil and degrades, producing carbon dioxide that goes directly into the soil or is absorbed by plants without being released into the air and causing a greenhouse effect.

Polylactic acid has good biocompatibility, solvent resistance, mechanical properties and processability. At present, the main applications are disposable tableware, straws, etc. , the future can be used in non-woven fabric, fiber and other fields.

PLA is made from the polymerization of lactic acid monomers, which can be fermented from sugars such as starch, crops, corn, straw and other wastes. Therefore, POLylactic acid is a biodegradable material with high yield and commercial success.

2. Polyadipic acid/Butylene terephthalate (PBAT)

PBAT is a thermoplastic degradable material, which is a copolymer of butylene adipate and butylene terephthalate. It has the characteristics of PBA and PBT, with good ductility and elongation at break, as well as good heat resistance and impact properties. In addition, it also has excellent biodegradability. It is a very active biodegradable material in the research of biodegradable plastics, and has a good market application prospect. PBAT has similar physical properties to traditional polyethylene and can be used for blowing film. PBAT is the main raw material of biodegradable plastic bags and biodegradable mulching film.

3. Polybutylene succinate

PBS is a biodegradable aliphatic polyester with good mechanical properties synthesized by the polymerization of butanediol and succinic acid. Compared with polylactic acid and other biodegradable materials, its raw materials are cheap and can be used as garbage bags, packaging bags, cosmetic bottles, various plastic cards, baby diapers, agricultural materials and Yao sustainable-release carrier matrix, as well as other environment-related plastic products, such as nets and membranes for civil greening. It can be used in packaging, tableware, cosmetic bottles, disposable YI treatment products, agricultural film, chemical fertilizer slow-release materials, biomedical polymer materials and other fields.

4. Polyglycolic acid

Polyglycolic acid, also known as polyglycolic acid. The polymer of glycolic acid is polyglycolic acid. Polyglycolic acid is a kind of synthetic polymer material with good biodegradability and biocompatibility. Polyglycolic acid can be used for medical sutures, controlled release carriers, fracture fixation materials, tissue engineering scaffolds and suture reinforcement materials. Depending on the degradation environment, it can be completely degraded in 1-6 months. It is one of the few degradable plastics in the Marine environment at present.

Degradable material is a special kind of plastic, which can not only meet the requirements of plastic properties, but also has degradability.

The key to plastic pollution control is disposable plastic products, and the degradable alternative plan is to meet the needs of the masses for rigid parts of disposable products by providing suitable degradable alternatives. At present by technology, production capacity, product design and development and many other factors, the list of products banned plastic bags, plastic tableware, straws, cotton swabs and so on.

With future development, the biodegradable industry chain will be able to provide alternative capacity for single-use plastic products, including various disposable packaging and textiles, and play a greater role in plastic pollution control.

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