I D
× COMMENTARYCOVER STORYIN THE NEWSNEWSFRONTSCHEMENTATOR + Show More BUSINESS NEWSTECHNICAL & PRACTICALFEATURE REPORTFACTS AT YOUR FINGERTIPSTECHNOLOGY PROFILEEQUIPMENT & SERVICESFOCUSNEW PRODUCTS + Show More

Comment

Modifier improves the heat tolerance of bioplastic

By Gerald Parkinson |

Plastic derived from corn, used mostly for bottles and cups, costs about 20% more than petroleum-based plastics, but has two desirable qualities: it comes from a renewable resource and is biodegradable. However, the use of the plastic — polylactic acid (PLA) — is restricted because PLA has a heat-deflection temperature of only about 60–70°C, well below the 100°C filling temperature required for many food products. An additive, or modifier, that promises to resolve that problem is being developed at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s (USDA) Western Regional Research Center (Albany, Calif.; www.ars.usda.gov) in collaboration with Lapol, LLC (Santa Barbara, Calif.; lapol.net). In laboratory tests the modifier has already pushed the deflection temperature above 100°C, says researcher Allison Flynn, a Lapol chemist. Lapol, a startup company, specializes in additives for plastics and has already developed a plasticizer that makes PLA more flexible. USDA chemist William Orts explains that PLA is made by using bacteria to ferment corn sugar to lactic acid. The acid is dehydrated to lactide, which is polymerized to obtain beads of PLA. The modifier is blended with the PLA to make it more heat-tolerant. Flynn…
Related Content
Chementator Briefs-Aug 2020
Curing with less Pt Silicone-release coatings generally use a platinum-based curing catalyst. Aiming to reduce the amount of this expensive…

ABB

The Big 6 level measurement technologies: Where to use them and why

WHITE PAPER — The Big 6 level measurement technologies: Where to use them and why Anyone who’s ever worn a tool belt knows that sometimes you have to use a tool for something it’s not designed to do. If you don’t happen to have a hammer, a heavy…

Chemical Engineering publishes FREE eletters that bring our original content to our readers in an easily accessible email format about once a week.
Subscribe Now
Securing the availability of chemical processes through a long-term partnership
Metering gas in biogas plants
The Big 6 level measurement technologies: Where to use them and why
Minimizing particle breakage and mother liquor residue in technical salts production
Expectations are shifting: How measurement solutions can help overcome chemical industry challenges

View More