Researchers have modified a degradable bioplastic derived from corn starch for use in more eco-friendly electronic components. Researchers found that nanoparticles with PLA resulted in a transparent film that makes the material suitable for use in electronics.
As consumers upgrade their gadgets at an increasing pace, the amount of electronic waste we generate continues to mount. To help combat this environmental problem, researchers have developed bioplastic derived from corn starch or other natural sources. They report their development in ACS’ journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.
In 2014, consumers around the world discarded about 42 million metric tons of e-waste, according to a report by the United Nations University. This poses an environmental and human threat because electronic products are made up of many components, some of which are toxic or non-degradable. To help address the issue, Xinlong Wang and colleagues sought to develop a degradable material that could be used for electronic substrates or insulators.
The researchers started with polylactic acid, or PLA, which is a bioplastic that can be derived from corn starch or other natural sources and is already used in the packaging, electronics and automotive industries. PLA by itself, however, is brittle and flammable, and doesn’t have the right electrical properties to be a good electronic substrate or insulator. But the researchers found that blending metal-organic framework nanoparticles with PLA resulted in a transparent film with the mechanical, electrical and flame retardant properties that make the material a promising candidate for use in electronics.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd has developed high-performance lightweight 100% biobased stand-up pouches offering excellent oxygen, grease and mineral oil barrier properties. The trick? Different biobased coatings on paper substrate. [more]
Ecovia Renewables, Inc. has announced that the company was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant of approximately $750,000 over two years from the National Science Foundation (NSF), for development of a suite of BioGel biopolymer materials, particularly for use in the absorbent cores of diapers. [more]
Bio-on and Greenergy International Limited have signed an agreement to begin a technical collaboration, the first in the United Kingdom, to look at the possibility of producing PHAs bioplastic from Glycerol, a biodiesel production co-product. [more]
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