Bioplastics are forecast to play an increasingly important role in addressing the plastic pollution problem. The aims of this project are to develop commercially relevant bioplastic products and to understand the (bio)degradation and impacts of those bioplastics in various environments.
Environmental attributes of bioplastics
Being able to quantify the environmental attributes of bioplastics will be important for testing and verifying the sustainability of new bioplastics products and production pathways in an increasingly aware consumer market.
Polyurethanes (PUs) are one of the most versatile polymers with applications in a wide range of fields. This project aims to prepare biobased, nanocomposite, polyurethane films with antimicrobial properties.
There is great interest in sustainable chemistry, including the development of polymer additives from renewable bio-resources. This project aims to prepare bio-based plasticizers from CMF and evaluate their impact on materials performance when incorporated into bioderived polymers.
Producing PHA film
Currently, there are no commercial bioderived and biodegradable films due to the processing difficulties encountered with existing bioplastics. Instead, nearly all films are made from fossil-fuel derived polymers, which are non-biodegradable.
Biodegradation of bioplastics in water
The scourge of plastic on beaches and in the sea is an increasingly common sight and no amount of cleaning up will fix this problem if we don’t tackle plastic waste at the source.