We are living in the plastics age, in which many of us can’t go more than a minute or two without touching a product that’s made at least part of this malleable, durable and robust material. And it’s that last trait that has so many resources- and environment-minded people concerned.
Plastics have staying power — they don’t degrade much in natural environments or landfills. Recycling is one great option to reuse some types of plastics, and more people are becoming recycling savvy. Still, in India alone, only about 7 percent of all the plastic products used are recycled; and 28 million tons (yes, tons) gets chucked into landfills every year.
To make sure that plastics do not pollute Earth, some newer plastics technologies incorporate biodegradable additives into their chemistry. These additives are designed to allow plastics to break down naturally, whether they’re in a landfill or planted roadside by a litterbug.
As they degrade, such plastics break down into carbon dioxide, hummus or biomass (an essential organic matter similar to soil) and methane gas. That’s a significant improvement over nearly indestructible detergent and soda bottles that might announce their presence to future archaeologists.
How can plastic degrade faster: Introduction to biodegradable plastic additives
Biodegradable additives are chemical compounds that are often incorporated in conventional plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene terephthalate, and polyvinyl chloride during the converting process. BioSphere biodegradable plastic additive does not contain metals or heavy metals or a fancy name. Biodegradation of plastic is organically done through a catalyst reaction between acids that microbes secrete and the polymer chain. This allows for a metabolic pathway that is initialized when utilizing the biodegradable plastic additive at a rate that has been seen to be 1000 times faster than regular plastic products. When using the biodegradable plastic additive, it does not change the physical properties of the final plastic product. Hydrolysis is initiated within the bonds of the plastic product allowing for the Acetyl-CoA metabolic pathway to be initialized and begin the biodegradability of the plastic product.
The working process of biodegradable additives:
Hydrolysis and Condensation
Carbohydrates and water containing hydrated carbon atoms build and break down through hydrolysis and condensation. Polymers are broken down by hydrolysis and built up by condensation. In hydrolysis, water is added to break down the polymers and in condensation, water is removed to build them up. As energy is involved in all these reactions, condensation reactions store them and hydrolysis reactions release them.
R1-R2 + H2O ————> R1-O + R2-H+
Acidogenesis is the next step of anaerobic digestion in which acidogenic microorganisms further break down the Biomass products after hydrolysis. These fermentative bacteria produce an acidic environment in the digestive tank while creating ammonia, H2, CO2, H2S, shorter volatile fatty acids, carbonic acids, alcohols, as well as trace amounts of other byproducts. While acidogenic bacteria further breaks down the organic matter, it is still too large and unusable for the ultimate goal of methane production, so the biomass must next undergo the process of acetogenesis.
In general, acetogenesis is the creation of acetate, a derivative of acetic acid, from carbon and energy sources by acetogens. These microorganisms catabolize many of the products created in acidogenesis into acetic acid, CO2 and H2. Acetogens break down the Biomass to a point to which Methanogens can utilize much of the remaining material to create Methane as a Biofuel.
Methanogenesis constitutes the final stage of anaerobic digestion in which methanogens create methane from the final products of acetogenesis as well as from some of the intermediate products from hydrolysis and acidogenesis. There are two general pathways involving the use of acetic acid and carbon dioxide, the two main products of the first three steps of anaerobic biodegradation, to create methane in methanogenesis:
CO2 + 4 H2 → CH4 + 2H2O
CH3COOH → CH4 + CO2
While CO2 can be converted into methane and water through the reaction, the main mechanism to create methane in methanogenesis is the path involving acetic acid. This path creates methane and CO2, the two main products of anaerobic biodegradation.
Biodegradable plastic additive provided by Oxygreen plastics is the most cost affordable solution to enhance the biodegradation of your plastic product. Where does the environment stand on your priority list?
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