Bioplastic is becoming a big topic in our society because of excess of amount of waste plastic being used. Bioplastic decays much faster then regular plastic. There are many ways bioplastic can be produced and many scientists are researching specifically making it with natural products. Scientist figured out that high-leveled starch products are very effective when it comes to making of bioplastic. Bioplastic is a very fast developing technology that will help the reduce the amount of plastics in landfills and usage of fossil fuels.
Many of the products people used everyday are made from plastic. Plastics consists of polymers which are chemical compounds made up of long chains of smaller molecules. Plastic is a necessity in the current society, although to manufacture, it requires a fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are carbon-based fuel sources, such as oil and gas which is made from fossilized plant and animal remains. Plastics are a bane to the environment because they are not biodegradable (cannot be broken down by decomposers), and cause global warming. The price for production of biodegradable plastic will soon drop for 3 reasons. First, as the production of biodegradable increase, the cost disadvantage will disappear. Second, oil and petroleum are a nonrenewable resource and the supply of will decrease. The supply is limited and when it starts to run out the price will increase. And lastly, the world is trying to be more eco friendly and there are many researches going on to find a more cost-effective plastic alternate. (1, 595-596)
An alternative to petroleum-based plastic is bioplastic. Bioplastic is made from biopolymers which are a long-chain molecules that are made in living organisms. Although the idea of biodegradable plastic are exciting, it costs more to make these plastic. Raw materials for bioplastics are starchy crops such as soybeans, corn, beets, and potatoes. Reasons to why starchy crops are more effective in the making of bioplastic is because plants with high starch level consists of starch forms called amylose and amylopectin. Amylopectin is composed of large branch molecules
made up of adjoined glucose
molecules and is 70 to 80 percent
of the starch levels in plants. Some
properties of amylopectin are water solubility and bonding capacity. This is useful for technical applications in chemical industries. Hydrochloric acid is used in the hydrolysis of amylopectin which is needed to aid the film formation process of bioplastic. This happens due to H-bonding amongst the chains of glucose in starch since amylopectin restricts the film formation (2, 558-561)
There are 2 ways of making bioplastic. One method of manufacturing it is fermentation using bacteria. Fermentation is a process in which bacteria break down sugar in the absence of oxygen. The bacteria used the sugar as energy, and produce various as by products. Lactic acid fermentation is a type of fermentation. It uses crops such as corn and beets because they...