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Biodegradable Polymers for Industrial Applications - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781855739345, 9781845690762

Biodegradable Polymers for Industrial Applications

1st Edition

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Editor: Robin Smith
Hardcover ISBN: 9781855739345
eBook ISBN: 9781845690762
Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
Published Date: 6th May 2005
Page Count: 552
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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.

Key Features

  • Reviews the importance and industrial use of biodegradable polymers and degradable polymers from sustainable sources
  • An invaluable resource for both academics and industry
  • Edited by a leading authority in the field with contributions from a worldwide team of experts


Academics; Researchers; Scientists and technicians working in polymer chemistry, materials engineering, or applied biology; Policy makers in the industry

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.


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© Woodhead Publishing 2005
6th May 2005
Woodhead Publishing
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

Robin Smith

Dr Ray Smith is a senior lecturer in the Materials Department at Queen Mary University of London.

Affiliations and Expertise

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


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

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