A Fantastic Plastic

  What a waste - Refuse sites around the world have reached breaking point

 

What a waste - Refuse sites around the world have reached breaking point

Packaging materials and other waste by-products of our consumer culture are pushing the world’s landfill sites to breaking point. The challenge of finding more environmentally responsible materials has never been greater. 

Since the turn of the 21st century, research into biodegradable materials has become a multi-billion pound industry. This has driven the demand for the production of biodegradable plastics which can be used, for example, as an eco-smart alternative to the materials currently used to wrap foodstuffs. 

Teams from three world renowned institutes in China have combined their expertise in this field to study polybutylene succinate (PBS) in greater detail as a potential replacement for polypropylene. PBS decomposes into carbon dioxide and water and as a material can be used in a range of applications from drug delivery to that perennial problem of plastic packaging. 

The scientists from the industrial cities of Beijing and Tianjin have been using the Linkam TST350 stage in combination with an X-Ray Synchrotron to look at the properties of the biodegradable plastic in order to assess its tensile strength - a key factor in its potential suitability as an all-purpose plastic.

For more about this fascinating research, please click here.

By Ricky Patel