Under natural conditions such as soil and / or sandy soil, and / or under specific conditions such as composting or anaerobic digestion, or in water-based culture medium, microorganisms such as bacteria, molds and seaweeds in nature cause degradation, and finally completely degrade into carbon dioxide (CO2) or / and methane (CH4), water (H2O) and mineralized inorganic salts of its elements, as well as new ones The plastic of biomass. It is also known as biodegradable plastics.
Classification of Biodegradable Plastics: according to the different composition of raw materials and manufacturing process, they can be divided into the following three kinds: natural polymer and its modified materials, microbial synthetic polymer materials and chemical synthetic polymer materials. At present, the commonly used biodegradable plastics are: poly (3-hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA), poly (lactic acid) (PLA), poly (ε - caprolactone) (PCL) and poly (butylene succinate) (PBS).
Poly (3-hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA)
Polyhydroxy fatty acid ester is a kind of aliphatic copolyester with different structure, which is synthesized by microorganisms through various carbon sources fermentation. The most common ones are PHB, PHV, PHB and PHBV. PHB is a kind of thermoplastic polyester widely existing in nature, especially in bacterial cells. PHB has many physical and mechanical properties similar to polypropylene, but it has biodegradability and biocompatibility. It can be completely degraded into β - hydroxybutyric acid, carbon dioxide and water in vivo. The material made of this kind of bioplastics can be used in drug release system, implants and some devices that can decompose harmlessly in human body after recovery. However, compared with polypropylene, PHB is harder and more brittle.
Through PHB and PHV copolymerization (PHBV), the weakness of PHB with high crystallinity and brittleness can be improved, and its mechanical property, heat resistance and water resistance can be improved. PHB / PHV copolymers have been sold under the trade name biopol. Biopol is composed of a series of different materials. When the content of PHV is no more than 30% and PHB / PHV is 89 / 11, the strength and toughness of the copolymer is the best. Such products can be used in food packaging, cosmetics, medicine, health and agriculture industries.
Polylactic acid is produced from lactic acid. The traditional lactic acid fermentation mostly uses starch material. At present, the United States, France, Japan and other countries have developed the use of corn, sugarcane, sugar beet, potatoes and other agricultural and sideline products as raw materials to produce lactic acid, and then produce polylactic acid. Corn is the preferred raw material of biodegradable plastic polylactic acid. The technological process of manufacturing biodegradable plastic polylactic acid is as follows: firstly, corn is ground into powder, starch is separated, and original glucose is extracted from starch. Finally, glucose is transformed into lactic acid by fermentation process similar to beer, and then the extracted lactic acid is made into final polymer polylactic acid.
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