With the increasing concern of plastics pollution in the environment and tightened government regulation on single-use plastic items, biodegradable plastics have seen dramatic growth.
Biodegradable plastics are shear sensitive by nature and subject to hydrolysis like polyester. The efficient shear processing technology and low processing temperature provided by the Farrel Continuous Mixer greatly maintains polymer integrity, such as molecular weight.
Biodegradable plastics can be degraded into CO2, water and biomass by microbes under different conditions. Biodegradable plastics are often produced from renewable biomass such as vegetable fats and oils, cornstarch and straw, although some biodegradables are made from petroleum.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is typically derived from fermented plant starch such as corn, cassava, sugarcane or sugar beet pulp. In 2010, PLA had the highest consumption volume of any biodegradable plastic in the world.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are polyesters produced in nature by numerous microorganisms, including through the bacterial fermentation of sugar or lipids. These plastics are biodegradable. They can be either thermoplastic or elastomeric, with melting points ranging from 40 to 180 °C.
Polybutylene succinate (PBS) is a thermoplastics polymer resin in the polyester family derived from petroleum. PBS is a biodegradable aliphatic polyester with properties that are comparable to polypropylene (PP).
Farrel Continuous Mixers are designed to address the many challenges of biodegradable plastics processing including:
Common applications for biodegradable plastics include:
|Biopolymer with Talc||kg/h
|220 - 230
880 - 920
|400 - 450
1,600 - 1,800
|750 - 850
3,000 - 3,400
|1,600 - 1,800
6,400 - 7,200
|1,800 - 2,000
7,200 - 8,000
|3,400 - 3,600
13,600 - 14,400
|6,000 - 6,500
24,000 - 26,000
*Based on 4000 hrs per year.