Plastic from Potatoes

A 24-year-old student developed an eco-friendly plastic from potatoes, an ideal alternative to the disposable tableware and straws used in the fast food industry. Pontus Norquist, the 24-year-old student, made this eco-friendly plastic with water and potato peel, which spoiled in a few months. To do this he heated the potato peel with water. At each stage, the soluble has been thickened and then placed on the jig to make spoons and other items.

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It is a type of thermoplastic that makes it hard at high temperatures but soft at low temperatures. You can also prepare bags, cutlery and straws as potatoes are prepared for special food industry plastic.

All bioplastics start with the natural sugars or starches of a plant, and starches from sugar cane or corn are often the preferred raw materials. But potatoes, which can contain between 13% and 23% dry matter (starch) depending on their water content, can be ideal for some plastics. “Potatoes are starch factories,” according to Dr. Qiang Liu, who led the BioPotato Network’s bioplastics research team, funded by the Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program of Canada. More than 30 food scientists, molecular biologists, and plant production specialists across Canada have studied potential functional applications of food and non-food ingredients in an effort to find new and more profitable crops for Canadian potato growers whose yields are It has valued at nearly $ 1.13 billion in 2009.

Fermentation, heat, chemical manipulation or even microbes are used to transform a sugar or starch raw material into the basic components: polylactic acid, hydroxymethylfurfural or poly-3-hydroxybutyrate, used as the basis for even more complex chemical creations, several of which we call “plastic.” Once thermometric plastics solidify, their polymer strands form tangled bonds that cannot be undone without destroying the plastic and are hard and resistant to temperature. In contrast, thermoplastics can be molded, melted, and re-molded. Transparent polylactic acid (PLA) is obtained from starch fermented in lactic acid, then polymerized, and has characteristics similar to polyethylene and polypropylene. It can be processed with equipment already used for petroleum-based plastics for a wide range of products, including computer cases, food, and other packaging, even biodegradable medical implants. Thermoplastic starch (TPS), currently the most widely used bioplastic, can be derived from potatoes or corn. The plastarch material (PSM) is a biodegradable thermoplastic resin, composed of modified starch to give it heat resistance properties and combined with other biodegradable materials to improve flexibility or give it other characteristics, and is used for containers and utensils for food, bags of plastic, temporary construction pipes and posts, foams, films, window and planter insulation, and some are biodegradable to compost, wet soil, water and some microorganisms. Scientists are now experimenting with microbes that can convert natural sugars and oils into biodegradable polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) materials.

“People confuse biodegradability and bioplastics. Not all bio-based products are biodegradable, and not all biodegradable products are bio-based, “says Liu, explaining that biodegradability can transform into a bio-based product. High temperatures are required to break down most bioplastics. Like PLA, generally in commercial facilities that maintain temperatures between 40 ° C and 65 ° C. But Liu points out that using renewable raw materials like potato starch or dry matter to produce carbon-based polymeric materials will benefit the environment. regardless of whether the end product is biodegradable or not. The production of a metric ton of bioplastic generates between 0.8 and 3.2 tons less carbon dioxide than a metric ton of plastic based on Therefore, the development of Bioplastics will help control and even reduce CO2 emissions, says Liu, “helping to understand the global CO2 emissions stab read by the Kyoto Protocol and provide a better environmental profile. “

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