What are eco-friendly biodegradable polymers?
The polymers which give no bad effects on the environment and degrade ultimately into the environment by interacting with microorganisms of the environment are called eco-friendly biodegradable polymers.
Reasons for concentrating on biodegradable polymers:
Polymer s has been used for different purposes for years. But there is a huge load of waste management after dumping polymeric materials into the environment. In view of the polymeric waste management, scientists have concentrated on eco-friendly biodegradable polymers. Polymer researchers had been trying to make degradable polymers for years. From this perspective, they are focusing on natural polymers that are degradable. Along with the search for natural polymers, they are also trying to make synthetic polymers degradable by converting higher molecular weight polymers into lower molecular weight polymers. These polymers will be eco-friendly biodegradable polymers.
In recent years, there is a wide scope of polymer discussion that is the biodegradable polymer. Biodegradable polymers have emerged as a promising candidate for a wide variety of applications.
For example, they have major applications for biomedical applications, packaging’s as well as food supplements etc. That’s why scientists have emphasized on the promotion of bioproducts made from biodegradable polymers.
Classifications of biodegradable polymers:
Biopolymers can be classified in two ways: according to their renewability content (fully or partially bio-based or oil-based) and to their biodegradability level (fully or partially or not biodegradable) [Shen et al 2009]. An attempt to classify biodegradable polymers into two main groups has been developed [Averous 2004], these two groups being -(i) the agro polymers obtained by biomass fragmentation process (polysaccharides, proteins..) and (ii) the bio-polyesters obtained either by synthesis from bio-derived monomers (polylactic acid-PLA) or by extraction from microorganisms (polyhydroxyalkanoate-PHA) or by synthesis from synthetic monomers (polycaprolactone-PCL, aromatic and aliphatic copolyesters-PBAT, PBSA…).
Shen, L.; Haufe, J. & Patel, M.K. (2009). Product overview and market projection of emerging biobased plastics. Utrecht University, Retrieved from www.epnoe.eu
Averous, L.; Fringant, C. & Moro, L. (2001). Plasticized starch-cellulose interactions in polysaccharide composites. Polymer, Vol.42, No.15, (July 2001), pp. 6565-6572, ISSN 0032-3861