DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURALLY-DERIVED BIOPOLYMER COMPOSITES FOR NON-FOOD APPLICATIONS
Location: Bioproduct Chemistry and Engineering Research
Title: BIOBASED MATERIALS OF CONTROLLED PERFORMANCE
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 10, 2005
Publication Date: May 10, 2005
Citation: Imam, S.H., Glenn, G.M., Orts, W.J., Chiou, B., Klamczynski, A., Wood, D.F. 2004. Biobased materials of controlled performance. Presented at the 2nd Int'l Conference on Green and Sustainable Chemistry and 9th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference in Washington, DC; June 20-24, 2004. Paper No. 184 (Abstract).
Efforts are being made worldwide to design and develop materials from biobased polymers. Natural polymers are inherently biodegradable, however, when processed with other polymers, plasticizers and additives or when chemically crosslinked or enzymatically modified, their biodegradation behavior is impacted or altered. Particularly, when two or more biodegradable polymers are compounded and processed together their biodegradability is dependent on the availability of these polymers as a carbon source for microorganisms and their hydrolytic enzymes, as well as the ability of microorganisms to access and utilize these blended polymers. At USDA, scientists have blended and processed surplus commodity starches to create materials having variable rate and extent of biodegradation, yielding starch-based materials of controlled biodegradability. This research is useful in designing single-use consumer products of predictable environmental performance.