Biopolymers: Reuse, Recycling, and Disposal

1st Edition

Authors: Michael Niaounakis
Hardcover ISBN: 9781455731459
eBook ISBN: 9781455731541
Imprint: William Andrew
Published Date: 1st June 2013
Page Count: 432
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Table of Contents


CHAPTER 1 Introduction to biopolymers 
1.1 Rationale for use of biopolymers 
1.2 Types of biopolymers 
1.3 Polyesters 
1.3.1 Poly(hydroxy acid)s 
1.3.2 Poly(alkylene dicarboxylate)s 
1.4 Poly(ether-ester)s 
1.5 Aliphatic polycarbonates 
1.6 Polyamides 
1.7 Poly(ester amides) 
1.8 Poly(ether amide)s 
1.9 Polyurethanes (bio-based PU) 
1.10 Polysaccharides 
1.11 Vinyl polymers 
1.12 Diene polymers 
1.13 Other biodegradable polymers 
1.14 Biopolymer compositions 
1.14.1 Blends 
1.14.2 Additives and modifiers 
1.15 Biodegradable biopolymer additives 
1.16 Sources of biopolymers 
1.17 Applications and parts 
1.17.1 Service packaging 
1.17.2 Food-services 
1.17.3 Agriculture/forestry/horticulture 
1.17.4 Consumer electronics 
1.17.5 Automotive industry 
1.17.6 Textiles/fibers 
1.15.7 Medical and pharmaceutical sector 
1.15.8 Cosmetics 
1.17.9 Outdoor sports 
1.17.10 Building/construction industry 
1.17.11 Other applications of biopolymers 
1.18 Sources of scrap and waste biopolymers 
CHAPTER 2 Definitions and assessment of (bio)degradation 
2.1 Define the terms 
2.2 Classification of biopolymers 
2.3 Biopolymers versus oxodegradable polymers 
2.4 Types and mechanisms of (bio)degradation 
2.4.1 Thermal degradation 
2.4.2 Photodegradation 
2.4.3 Mechanical degradation
2.4.4 Hydrolysis 
2.4.5 Biodegradation 
2.5 (Bio)degradation testing 
2.5.1 Visual examination 
2.5.2 Changes in thermo-mechanical and physical properties 
2.5.3 Molecular weight 
2.5.4 Chemical changes 
2.5.5 Hydrolysi


Biopolymers Reuse, Recycling and Disposal is the first book covering all aspects of biopolymer waste management and post-usage scenarios, embracing existing technologies, applications, and the behavior of biopolymers in various waste streams.

The book investigates the benefits and weaknesses, social, economic and environmental impacts, and regulatory aspects of each technology. It covers different types of recycling and degradation, as well as life cycle analysis, all supported by case studies, literature references, and detailed information about global patents. Patents in particular—comprising 80% of published technical literature in this emerging field, widely scattered, and often available in Japanese only—are a key source of information.

Dr. Niaounakis draws on disciplines such as polymer science, management, biology and microbiology, organic chemistry, environmental chemistry, and patent law to produce a reference guide for engineers, scientists and other professionals involved in the development and production of biopolymers, waste management, and recycling. This information is also valuable for regulators, patent attorneys and academics working in this field.

Key Features

  • Explores techniques and technologies involved in managing biopolymers in the waste stream, including recycling and upcycling
  • Provides waste management and recycling professionals the knowledge they need to plan for the exponential growth in biopolymer waste
  • Helps engineers and product designers fully consider the end-of-life aspects of their environmentally sustainable 'green' products and solutions


Engineers, scientists and other professionals in the fields of waste management / recycling and biopolymers; plastics engineers and polymer developers; chemical & environmental engineers and technicians concerned with plastic waste in municipal and industrial sectors; academics and researchers in waste management and polymer science; Regulators and patent attorneys.


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© William Andrew 2013
William Andrew
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About the Authors

Michael Niaounakis Author

European Patent Office, Rijswijk, Netherlands

Affiliations and Expertise

European Patent Office, Rijswijk, Netherlands