Biopolymers and Bioplastics

Biopolymers are polymers that can be found in or manufactured by, living organisms. These also involve polymers that are obtained from renewable resources that can be used to manufacture Bioplastics by polymerization. There are primarily two types of Biopolymer, one that is obtained from living organisms and another that is produced from renewable resources but require polymerization. Those created by living beings include proteins and carbohydrates.

Unlike synthetic polymers, Biopolymers have a well-marked structure. These polymers have a uniformly distributed set of molecular mass and appear as a long chain of worms or a curled up string ball under a microscope. This type of polymer is differentiated based on their chemical structure.

These polymers play an essential role in nature. They are extremely useful in performing functions like storage of energy, preservation and transmittance of genetic information and cellular construction.

  • Sugar based polymers, such as Polyactides, naturally degenerate in the human body without producing any harmful side effects. This is the reason why they are used for medical purposes. Polyactides are commonly used as surgical implants.
  • Starch based biopolymers can be used for creating conventional plastic by extruding and injection molding.

Bioplastics are plastics derived from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, straw, woodchips, food waste, etc. Bioplastic can be made from agricultural by-products and also from used plastic bottles and other containers using microorganisms. Common plastics, such as fossil-fuel plastics (also called petrobased polymers) are derived from petroleum or natural gas. Not all bioplastics are biodegradable non- biodegrade more readily than commodity fossil-fuel derived plastics. Bioplastics are usually derived from sugar derivatives, including starch, cellulose, lactic acid. As of 2014, bioplastics represented approximately 0.2% of the global polymer market. Bioplastics are the plastics that are created by using biodegradable polymers.

 

 

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