Plastic is compost: plant waste has found application

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina Depositphotos / ccaetanoПластик from biomassPlastic is compost: plant waste has found application© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina Depositphotos / ccaetano

About the necessity of processing of vegetable and food waste say more than a dozen years. Science has effective methods of turning biomass into a product that is useful for industry and in everyday life. RIA Novosti says that processed selhozmashin and wood piles and why the solution of all problems is still far.

Imitation oil

As scientists assure, any suitable processing waste from agricultural and food industry, wood and even microalgae. Wet biomass, typically more than half composed of water, is subjected to multi-step to powerful heating in closed apparatus is called hydrothermal carbonization. First, from the raw material and remove oxygen, then release methane and hydrogen, the remaining mixture liquefied, receiving the resin or liquid fuel. In the bowels of the planet going around the same thing, when precipitation is formed from the organic oil. Only it takes millions of years, and hydrothermal carbonization takes hours.

To process biomass can for almost a hundred years, and during that time technology has significantly improved. Now the main task is to diversify the sources of raw materials, to use all the biowaste. So, in the Research centre of Bioeconomy in Hohenhameln University (Germany) using hydrothermal carbonization propose to get rid of 800 thousand tons of chicory roots, which every year rot in the fields. On the experimental production of this raw material receive not only biogas, but also biopolymers such as furfural, hydroxymethylfurfural, lactic acid, phenol, glycolic aldehyde. Of them are chemically made polyester, nylon, plastic bottles and disposable tableware.

According to its mechanical and physical properties bioplastic (that is made from biomass) does not differ from conventional products from oil refining. They are light, flexible, durable, and some biopolymers and quickly decomposes in soil or in the light, giving them an ecological advantage.

Excellent raw materials for bioplastics the most important and microalgae, which are specially grown in large bioreactors. The problem, however, is that biomass production remains fairly expensive technology. In order to reduce the cost, it is necessary to increase production. Markets of sales for products from bioplastics the most important is not enough.

Another unusual material gives the wood biomass — nanocellulose. This fiber or nano-scale crystals that get by treating ordinary cellulose with strong acids.

About the prospects of nanocellulose talking about ten years ago, when I learned to do it different structural materials. It is considered that this material of the future, suitable for the manufacture of flexible electronics, armor, filters, sensors, composite materials for medicine and household items. Nanocellulose as bioplastics, yet expensive. However, experts note that production volumes are growing every year, and by 2020, these materials will be able to compete with conventional plastic.

© Photo : Armatoriale lay on nanocellulose high expectations on the structural and biocompatible material Plastic is compost: plant waste has found application© Photo : Armatoriale lay on nanocellulose high expectations on the structural and biocompatible material