Plastics are considered to be the largest cause for environmental degradation in the world for several reasons but mainly because they take no less than hundreds of years to degrade in nature. World governments, in collaboration with different sectors of the market, have made a joint effort towards shifting from petrochemical plastics to renewable and biodegradable plastics. However, this is not easy as it seems, as the production process for such a form of plastics can require toxic chemicals and is also expensive. Moreover, water stability and mechanical strength are usually insufficient.
Finally, researchers have created a high-quality bioplastic from byproducts of wood. It might be a solution to one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues. This is one of the biggest breakthroughs in the Biodegradable Plastics Market, as using wood bioproducts might lead to the production of more durable and sustainable bioplastics. It has been stated that the developed material has high mechanical strength, U-V light resistance, and good stability while holding liquids. Additionally, it can further be recycled or safely biodegraded in the environment. It also has a lower life-cycle when it comes to environmental impact, in comparison with petroleum-based plastics or any other biodegradable plastics.
Through the years, there have been many who have tried to make polymers in plastics that the present study has accomplished. However, the mechanical strands were never good enough to replace the plastics in use presently. Thus, a very straightforward and simple manufacturing process has been constructed that has the power to generate biomass-based plastics from wood. Not only this but also a plastic that has good mechanical properties as well.
In order to create the slurry mixture, the team took help from wood powder which is a processing residue typically discarded as a leftover in lumber mills. They deconstructed the loose, porous structure of the power through recyclable DES (Deep Eutectic Solvent). In turn, a mixture was formed with hydrogen and nanoscale entanglement bonding between the regenerated lignin and cellulose. It consists of high viscosity and high solid content that can be easily cast and rolled without fear of breaking.
The newly made bioplastic can be useful for several applications. Firstly, it can be molded into a film and be used in packaging and plastics. This is hugely beneficial as this is one of the major uses of plastics and causes of waste production. For the similar reason that it can be molded into distinct shapes, it also has the potential to be used for the manufacturing of automobiles.
In the coming future, the team is set to further investigate the impact of bioplastic on forests if the manufacture of it is taken to an industrial scale. This is because large-scale production would require the use of a massive amount of wood which might have a negative impact on the flora and fauna, lane management, ecosystem, and several other environmental elements.
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