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Bioplastics in the Waste Stream by iSmithers Rapra Publishing

By iSmithers Rapra Publishing

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Generally, at higher temperature, the material will break down faster. Some materials like PLA do not biodegrade at all under home composting conditions. Home composting is roughly equal to incineration with energy recovery in terms of carbon and energy footprint when carbon credits are considered. 1 for heating values). Durable bioplastics may ultimately lead to incinerator for its final disposal. 1 Heating values of various fuels and wastes, 2009 Fuel or waste Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) Refuse-derived paper and plastic densified fuel (RPF) Coal Heavy oil Wood/paper Plastics (polyethylene) Typical municipal wastes Typical heating values (kcal/kg) 4,000 – 5,000* 6,000 – 8,000** 6,000 – 8,000*** 9,500 4,300 11,000 1,000 – 1,500* Note: *Depends on waste composition ** Can be controlled by plastic composition in fuel production process.

PHA film is translucent, and injection-moulded articles from PHAs have high gloss. PHB is one of the few polymers from the PHA family that has been introduced into the market in relatively large quantities. It has properties similar to those of polypropylene. PHB tends to be stiff, highly crystalline, brittle, and it has a high melting point and low molecular weight. Its high melting point makes processing difficult. PHB is water insoluble and relatively resistant to hydrolytic degradation. This differentiates PHB from other available bioplastics, which are either water-soluble or moisture sensitive.

As the reaction proceeds, removal of traces of PDO becomes difficult. This is compensated for by having a series of reactors operating under progressively higher temperatures and lower pressures. In a final step, the highly viscous molten polymer is blended with additives in a static mixer and then palletized. It is generally possible to convert existing PET facilities to PTT production since it is analogous in many ways to PET. The PDO unit needs to be built separately. The cost for conversion of a PET facility to PTT is between 10% to 20% of the cost of building a new plant (Norberg, 2003).

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