Use, creation and evaluation of biodegradable materials

22 Apr 2021, 15:25
oral Clean Technologies Clean Technologies


Ms Anna Kuznetcova


Plastic is a material that is used by almost all people on the planet. Its production is based on the polymerization and polycondensation reactions of low-molecular substances extracted from oil, coal, and natural gas. Plastic materials decompose in nature for 100-300 years. For plastics recycling various procedures can be used, but they are either expensive or cause enormous damage to the environment.
Therefore, new solutions are needed in this area, which will help to reduce dependence on hydrocarbons and minimize the negative impact on the environment. An alternative to the synthetic material, called bioplastics, was developed. This term refers to biodegradable materials made from biodegradable polymers and specific additives. However, the most environmentally friendly materials are biodegradable compostable materials.
We make an assumption about the rational use of food waste in the production of biodegradable materials as a part of the circular economy. This will not only achieve the creation of a biodegradable compostable material, but also solve the problem of recycling food waste. The formula created by us theoretically fits all the requirements for biodegradable products. Created material does not contain synthetic polymers and organic impurities that affect biological decomposition.
Selected approaches
As a result of the analysis, we decided to use rice husks as a raw material. Starch, glycerin and citric acid were added. These components are mixed in a strictly defined ratio, which varies depending on the starch manufacturer. After that, the resulting mixture is heated in a water bath.Then, as a result of manual molding, we get the finished product at the output.
To confirm the biodegradability of the resulting material, we will apply the methodology of the international standard ISO 17556: 2019. According to this method, controlled composting conditions are created in the soil mixture. The biodegradability of the material that we have created can be assessed by the release of CO2.
As a result of the work carried out, not only a prototype of a biodegradable material was obtained, but also the methodology for determining the degree of biodegradation of materials was tested. Further work will allow us to improve the material and products made from it, which will allow us to test the resulting prototypes in the future under consumer conditions.

Affiliation of speaker ITMO University
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