Over the last ten years, the demand of biodegradable polymers has grown at an annual rate of 20–30%. However, the market share is about less than 0.1% of the total plastic production due to their lower performances, higher price and limited legislative attention in respect to the standard materials. The biodegradability as a functional added property is often not completely perceived from the final consumers. However, the opportunity to use renewable resources and to reduce the dependency from petroleum resources could become an incentive to accelerate their future growth. Renewable raw materials, coming from industrial wastes such as oilseed crops, starch from cereals and potatoes, cellulose from straw and wood, etc., can be converted into chemical intermediates and polymers, in order to substitute fossil fuel feedstock. The introduction of these new products could represent a significant contribution to sustainable development. However, the use of renewable resources and the production of the bioplastics are no longer a guarantee for a minimal environmental impact. The production process as well as their technical performances and their ultimate disposal has to be carefully considered. Bioplastics are generally biodegradable, but the diffusion of the composting technology is a prerequisite for their development. Efforts are required at industry level in order to develop less expensive and high performance products, with minimal environmental impact technologies.

Microbial Degradation of Synthetic Biopolymers Waste

V. Siracusa
2019

Abstract

Over the last ten years, the demand of biodegradable polymers has grown at an annual rate of 20–30%. However, the market share is about less than 0.1% of the total plastic production due to their lower performances, higher price and limited legislative attention in respect to the standard materials. The biodegradability as a functional added property is often not completely perceived from the final consumers. However, the opportunity to use renewable resources and to reduce the dependency from petroleum resources could become an incentive to accelerate their future growth. Renewable raw materials, coming from industrial wastes such as oilseed crops, starch from cereals and potatoes, cellulose from straw and wood, etc., can be converted into chemical intermediates and polymers, in order to substitute fossil fuel feedstock. The introduction of these new products could represent a significant contribution to sustainable development. However, the use of renewable resources and the production of the bioplastics are no longer a guarantee for a minimal environmental impact. The production process as well as their technical performances and their ultimate disposal has to be carefully considered. Bioplastics are generally biodegradable, but the diffusion of the composting technology is a prerequisite for their development. Efforts are required at industry level in order to develop less expensive and high performance products, with minimal environmental impact technologies.
biodegradable polymers; bioplastics; renewable resources; eco-friendly materials; microbial degradation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/366823
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