mardi 21 avril 2009

Bioplastics News : Revolution and concerns

The Brazilian Bioplastics Revolution

The production of plastics from renewable sources constitutes the next frontier in the search for ways to mitigate our dependency on oil and reduce our environmental footprint. The country at the forefront of these tantalizing developments, however, is not commonly perceived as being a technology powerhouse. Brazil is leading the way in this industry after decades of research and commitment to a technology based on sugarcane ethanol. The technology has proven to be environmentally sustainable and potentially capable of changing the way we manufacture everything, from personal care products to automobiles.

Unlike typical plastics made from crude oil, “bioplastics” are often made from plant matter such as corn starch, potato starch, cane sugar, and soy protein. A potentially renewable alternative to petroleum-based plastics would have the long-term benefits of reducing global warming pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels, but do bioplastics fit the bill? As they become more ubiquitous—in the form of grocery bags and disposable plates, food containers, and cutlery—numerous concerns have been raised about their true value.

1 commentaire:

Pupiaska a dit…

I have read the document from the Brasilian ethanol to polyethylene, and have seen in the news the ethanol to PVC from Solvay.

The production capacities installed for these non-compostable bioderived polymers are going to be bigger than the ones of the others emergent bio-derived polymers (starch PLA and others).

End of life of these biopolymers can be as fuel (recovery of energy putting the plant CO2 back in atmosfer.

Can we see this as a switch in what the polymers of the future will be ? ( PE/PVC still important, starch PLA marginal for special application where they can have better performance) ?