KAWANISHI-CITY, Japan, Aug. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Environmental problems such as climate change, extinction of species, water shortage, deforestation due to explosion of the human population are becoming increasingly severe worldwide. In particular, plastic pollution produces adverse effects, especially micro-plastics and nano-plastics are already present in the human body as a result of plastic polluted breathing air. Therefore, recycling of plastic, reduction of plastic use, and use and development of biodegradable plastic have been intensively challenged.
The production and use of biodegradable plastic is slowly increasing, although greater than 90% of plastics worldwide are still petroleum-based non-biodegradable plastics. In addition, the production of this petroleum-based non-biodegradable plastics are still increasing regardless of these plastic pollution problems. Therefore, plastic pollution is worsening each year.
Biodegradable plastics are composed of either petroleum or biomass such as corn, sugarcane, potato, and grains. However, this might be a problem as such biomass is also used as food for human nutrition. As non-edible biomass, cellulose-based biodegradable plastics can be a good alternative, although the preparation of cellulose-based resins with good properties normally requires the use of petroleum-based additives.
There is some research making wood derived plastic by dissolving wood with sulfuric acid, formic acid, etc., although these acids chemicals are dangerous and can be toxic.
"Thermoplastic resin" is the precise technical term for plastic, which is defined as a thermoplastic material that can be molded into any shape for actual use by high-temperature molding using a molding machine. To perform molding, the plastic needs to be in the form of a "resin pellet" with a size of 1–3 mm.
In the plastic industry, this resin pellet is manufactured and handled with extruder such as twin screw extruder.
With this view, Dr. Ryohei Mori has developed a 100% natural biomass-based biodegradable thermoplastic material from wood (cedar), stone (talc), and a natural deep eutectic solvent (NADES). This material can be manufactured and handled with normal extruder, and it can be quite cheap because the main component is the wood, plant, and stone. Production cost can be quite cheap too because ordinary extruder can be used.
Green Science Alliance has been developing similar material already before although the concentration of wood was low in the material. This time, they have modified the manufacturing procedure and was able to create newly innovative material with much higher wood and stone content (total weight of wood and stone is more than 51%). Even they are 100% nature biomass biodegradable composition composed of mainly wood (plant) and stone, it has some issues because their mechanical strength and water resistance is a little weak. However, by creating composite material with other biomass biodegradable resin, as well as general petroleum derived plastic such as PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene), this problem can be solved.
Therefore, for the real industrial business application, it could be suggested that this newly innovative 100% biomass biodegradable material can be mixed with already existing general plastics and bioplastics in order to increase their biomass content and biodegradability. Cheap price of this material could be the one of good advantage for real industrial application too.
The same procedure can be applied to prepare similar material from any natural organic resource, such as waste wood, waste plant, waste seaweed, waste paper, etc.
Dr. Ryohei Mori is planning to present this research at ACS Fall Meeting which will be held at Chicago, USA on August 21-25, 2022. The title will be "100% nature biomass based biodegradable material made from wood, stone and natural deep eutectic solvent."
SOURCE Green Science Alliance Co., Ltd.