Biodegradable Polymers for Industrial Applications

Edited by

  • R. Smith, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9560, USA

The vast majority of plastic products are made from petroleum-based synthetic polymers that do not degrade in a landfill or in a compost-like environment. Therefore, the disposal of these products poses a serious environmental problem. An environmentally-conscious alternative is to design/synthesize polymers that are biodegradable.

Biodegradable polymers for industrial applications introduces the subject by outlining the classification and development of biodegradable polymers. Materials available for the production of biodegradable polymers are explored. Polymers derived from sugars, natural fibres, renewable forest resources, poly(lactic acid) and protein-nanoparticle composites are looked at in detail in this section. The properties and mechanisms of degradation are looked at, prefacing the subject with a chapter on current standards. The final part explores opportunities for industrial applications, with chapters on packing, agriculture and biodegradable polycaprolactone foams in supercritical carbon dioxide.

Biodegradable polymers for industrial applications explores the fundamental concepts concerning the development of biodegradable polymers, degradable polymers from sustainable sources, degradation and properties and industrial applications. It is an authoritative book that is invaluable for academics, researchers and policy makers in the industry.
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Academics; Researchers; Scientists and technicians working in polymer chemistry, materials engineering, or applied biology; Policy makers in the industry


Book information

  • Published: May 2005
  • Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-85573-934-5


…will be of value to every scientist or technician working in polymer chemistry, materials engineering, or applied biology., International Microbiology

Table of Contents

Part 1 Classification and development: Classification of biodegradable polymers; Polyhydroxyalkanoates; Oxo-biodegradable polyolefins; New developments in the synthesis of aliphatic polyesters by ring-opening polymerisation; Biodegradable polyesteramides; Thermoplastic starch biodegradable polymers. Part 2 Materials for production of biodegradable polymers: Biodegradable polymers from sugars; Biodegradable polymer composites from natural fibres; Biodegradable polymers from renewable forest resources; Poly(lactic acid) based bioplastics; Biodegradable protein-nanoparticle composites. Part 3 Properties and mechanisms of degradation: Standards for environmentally biodegradable plastics; Material properties of biodegradable polymers; Mechanism of biodegradation; Enzymatic degradation of polymers. Part 4 Industrial applications: Oxo-biodegradable polyolefins in packaging; Biodegradable plastics in agriculture; Generation of biodegradable polycaprolactone foams in supercritical carbon dioxide; Biodegradable polymers in agricultural applications.