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Tough Reprocessable Thermoplastics from Biorenewable Sources (Sugars)

Novel thermoplastics derived from biorenewable stocks is considerably tougher than existing commodity plastics and can be easily degraded

Background

Current commercial plastics are lightweight inexpensive materials with excellent mechanical strength, toughness and flexibility, finding application almost in every field of application. However, most of the consumer plastics are fabricated from non-renewable fossil sources, are non-degradable and the impact of their use and disposal on the environment is extremely negative. Bioplastics derived from sustainable feedstock have been identified as a great alternative but they often lack necessary mechanical properties, are brittle and non-flexible.

Technology Overview

The new polymers developed at the University of Birmingham are based on isohexide isomers, which are derived from glucose (a widely available sugar), have excellent mechanical properties (from HDPE to Nylon-6), can be mechanically reprocessed (recycled) or even fully hydrolysed to recover the monomers

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