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From plant to plastic

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Will you soon be carting off yard waste to be turned into plastic? According to these scientists, it’s not a crazy thought.

From USA Today

University of Florida researchers have found an inexpensive way to make plastic from discarded plant material, such as yard waste, and thus avoid using food or fuel to make this popular alternative to paper.

Traditional plastic production requires petroleum, and current bio-plastics are made from food carbohydrates such as cane sugar or corn starch. Previous efforts to make bio-plastics from plant material failed because they didn’t produce enough lactic acid to form the requisite long chains of molecules.

UF researchers found that adding calcium carbonate to the process solved that problem, and the result is a biodegradable, recyclable and affordable plastic. They said using straw as a raw material is 13 times less expensive than sugar and five times less expensive than corn or wheat.

 

Written by clawell@gie.net

June 2nd, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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