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IPFS News Link • Inventions

New Type of Plastic Made Directly From Organic Plant Waste Could Be the Game-Changer We Need

• By Good News Network

The new material is easy to make and could be used in everything from packaging and textiles to medicine and electronics.

The researchers in Switzerland have already used the technique to make packaging films, fibres that can be spun into clothes or other textiles and filaments for 3D printing.

Conventional plastic is so widespread because making it combines low cost, heat stability, mechanical strength, processability, and compatibility, the researchers say.

Until now, few if any alternative plastics have managed to match or surpass conventional plastic on these metrics, which is vital if they are to be used more widely.

To make the plastic, scientists 'cooked' wood and other non-edible plant materials in inexpensive chemicals to make a plastic precursor.

The sugar structure stays intact within the molecular structure of the plastic, making the chemistry much cheaper than other types of alternative plastic.

Back in 2016, the researchers found out that if they added an aldehyde chemical they could stabilize parts of the plant material to avoid their destruction during extraction. But now, instead of formaldehyde they are using glyoxylic acid, a solid organic compound that occurs naturally and is used in industry.