Biodegradable Polymers

Biopolymers are polymers that are biodegradable. The input materials for the production of these polymers may be either renewable (based on agricultural plant or animal products) or synthetic. Current and future developments in biodegradable polymers and renewable input materials focus relate mainly to the scaling-up of production and improvement of product properties. Larger scale production will increase availability and reduce prices. Currently either renewable or synthetic starting materials may be used to produce biodegradable polymers. Two main strategies may be followed in synthesizing a polymer. One is to build up the polymer structure from a monomer by a process of chemical polymerization. The alternative is to take a naturally occurring polymer and chemically modify it to give it the desired properties. A disadvantage of chemical modification is however that the biodegradability of the polymer may be adversely affected. Therefore it is often necessary to seek a compromise between the desired material properties and biodegradability.

Increased use of biopolymers would reduce the dependence on fossil fuels; another advantage is that biopolymers are easily bio-degradable

  • General Applications of Biodegradable Polymers
  • Biodegradable Polymers for Industrial Applications
  • Advanced biodegradable polymers

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