UPV develops fully recyclable packaging material
2019/10/16 Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria
Researchers from the UPV-EHU and the State University of Colorado (USA) have developed a new type of fully recyclable plastic, better than the current substitute for wrapping plastics, which favors the circular economy of plastic.
The authors have pointed out that it is not easy to get good biodegradable polymers for food collection. Poly (lactic acid) is one of the promising options, but due to its rigidity and excessive permeability, it is not suitable to replace current commercial materials. In the new research, however, although not biodegradable, a completely chemically recyclable and good quality material has been achieved. Once used, the original monomers can be chemically obtained again and the material can be resynned without generating plastic waste.
Two homopolymers have been analyzed: poly (gamma-butyrolactone), with suitable mechanical properties but very permeable to gases and vapors, and poly (trans-hexahydroftalide), very rigid but low permeability. The combination of both monomers has allowed synthesizing a material with suitable properties. According to the researchers, in quality they are equal to the current packaging of plastic.The work has been published in the journal Nature Communications.