Cassava roots. Bioplastic from cassava starch is said to be as tough as traditional plastics made of petroleum.
Photo: Shutterstock

25.11.2019

<< First < Previous Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Next > Last >>
Brazilian scientists have developed a new technique to generate a biodegradable plastic as strong as traditional ones made of petroleum. Bioplastics are less harmful to the environment and could help tackle pollution.

A team of scientists in Brazil has developed a biodegradable plastic that could be used for food packaging or carrier bags by applying ozone gas to cassava starch. The ozone (O3) gas changes the molecular properties of the starch from the root vegetable to produce a bioplastic 30 per cent tougher than those made of the starch of potato, rice or maize, the researchers say.

Carla Ivonne La Fuente Arias, a chemistry engineer at the University of São Paulo’s Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, told SciDev.Net: “Our tests indicate that this new technique is able to generate a biodegradable plastic as strong as traditional ones made of petroleum.”

The ozone gas has also enabled them to improve the transparency of the cassava-based plastic, according to Arias, lead author of the study published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.

Arias said she and her team had requested the patent for their invention and were in talks with a number of companies about developing the technology, but the cost of production costs remains unclear.

<< First < Previous Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Next > Last >>