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Biodegradable plastics are waterproof and oil-proof

February 28, 2022

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Biodegradable plastics are waterproof and oil-proof

The magical nature can always bring creative inspiration to R&D personnel, even the chemical industry is no exception.

Recently, the research and development team of Royal Melbourne University (RMIT) in Australia was inspired by the waterproof structure of lotus leaves to develop a biodegrdable plastic that can be waterproof and oil-proof, which can be used in fresh food and takeaway food packing.

Biodegradable plastics are waterproof and oil-proof

The lotus leaf is almost the most waterproof surface on earth, mainly because the surface of the lotus leaf has a layer of waxy protrusions, any water droplets that fall on the lotus leaf are still water droplets, and only roll off with the help of gravity and wind. It will sweep away dirt and keep the leaves clean.

The researchers first designed and synthesized a plastic made of starch and cellulose nanoparticles, and then printed a pattern similar to the lotus leaf structure on the surface of the plastic according to the surface structure of the lotus leaf, and then coated a layer of silicon-based organic polymer. material PDMS protective layer.

Mehran Ghasemlou, lead author of the study and PhD researcher at RMIT, said that while biodegradable plastics are a growing market, most plastics that are biodegradable or compostable require industrial processes and high temperatures to break down.

The new bioplastic is biodegradable without industrial intervention, and tests have shown that it breaks down naturally and rapidly in the soil.

We also take into account the needs of mass manufacturing when designing the material structure formulation, ensuring that it is easy to scale. Ghasemlou said, “The manufacturing process does not require heating or complex equipment and can be used on roll-to-roll lines” . He also said the team is currently working with a bioplastics company to evaluate further development of these new waterproof materials.

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