Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Polylactide :: Polymer Plastic Environment Biodegradable

Polylactide: A New Perspective In the past decades, many polymers are non-biodegradable and require an excessive and strenuous recycling process. However one polymer, polylactide, is renovating the roles of commonly known polymers as time passes by. Polylactide has led to the introduction of other possible ways to create plastics that are more environmental friendly to the community. With this sole introduction, polymers in petrochemical-derived products are greatly affected in that they are no longer an extreme threat to the atmosphere, which is something very crucial for a future healthy planet environment. However, polylactide is an expensive polymer and it is only commonly found in the biomedical field and rarely in the public world. In the recent years, polylactide has been found in items that consist of plastic substances such as in wrapping paper in packaging and has emerged in other consumer products (Morgan). The purpose for this paper is to introduce the polymer, polylactide, in the public world in order for scientists, or even civilians, to pursue and gather some interest in the evolution of polylactide as a polymer chain used in production of biodegradable plastics. Polylactide has just recently been under production by the company Nature Works. Nature Works, located in Blair, Nebraska, is the largest producer of polylactide in the world. Polylactide is the polymer of the future because it has the characteristic of being biodegradable. Although it is not cost efficient in the beginning of production, the material will degrade naturally in the environment in less than ninety days or can be recycled easier and safer with less percentage loss. The United States recorded 46 billion pounds of plastics were produced in 1989. The same year 225 million pounds of plastics were recycled. This means more than 45 billion pounds of plastics are still in use by Americans or have been abandone d in an unsanitary manner in the environment. By increasing the amount of individuals doing research on polylactide and altering the combinations with additional or subtraction of functional groups, polylactide can change the way the world recycles, manages waste, and improve the health of our planet and species living in sensitive habitats (Cleaning). In the figure below, you can see that lactic acid (CH3C2H2O(OH)2) can be obtained on the basis from renewable starch containing resources, such as, corn, wheat, or sugar cane, by fermentation, or by chemical synthesis of renewable resources.

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