Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Biodegradable Polythene using Cassava Starch

Non degradable polythene has been a heavy burden on environment. It causes decreasing soil fertility, clogging irrigation systems, affecting aesthetical beauty & destructive to wildlife & other biological system. So as chemical & process undergraduates we were delighted when we were given chance to engage with designing of biodegradable polymer.

Our country is basically agriculture based one. Because of too many reasons most of farmers loose profits from their yield. Same product comes into market in very large quantities in narrow time period. So farmers can not demand their product; unfortunately this scenario has been converted to grab the effort of farmers into intermediate traders’ wallet. We select cassava as the main row material in order to minimize the above tragic situation. When our research become a commercial reality it will help to give a high bid for farmers’ product.

We were given chance to select approach to the design project. We were given three alternatives to produce biodegradable polymer.

1. Using only starch

2. Using starch plus biodegradable polymer

3. Using starch plus non – biodegradable polymer (This alternative was given for worst case. That mans if we could not found any way to follow above two alternatives we would able to follow this option. )

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Using only Starch

In environment lecture we were given a water bottle to observe which is made out of corn starch. Mervyn Dias from Plastic Packaging (Pvt) Ltd (PPCL) was introduced to us by our project coordinator. He discussed about his experiences in production of starch based polymers. These two junctures enhance our enthusiasm on this project & implies us to select total starch to produce our biodegradable polymer.

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