• The global Poly Lactic Acid Market for was estimated to be worth US$1194 mlon in 2010 and is expected to reach US$3831.3 mln by 2016, growing at a CAGR of 18.7%. Factors affecting growth include favorable regulatory scenario for environmentally friendly, increasing crude oil prices, changing consumer preferences, enhanced properties. Packaging accounted for over 50% of the overall PLA market in 2013, and is expected to remain the dominant application segment, with rigid packaging being the largest contributor. North America is expected to remain the largest market, while Asia Pacific is expected to grow at the fastest rate in terms of revenue. Read more in Global PolyLactic Acid and Lactic Acid market forecast to see robust growth to 2020
  • As application areas of lactic acid and its derivatives expand and the consumption increases, demand for lactic acid keeps increasing in China. The global production capacity of PLA is expected to increase from over 0.2 mln tons in 2012 to 0.8 mln tons in 2020 while that in Asia will exceed 0.35 million tons, accounting for nearly 50% of the total. Many Asian countries issue policies to support development of various biobased materials while Asia produces a large amount of agricultural raw materials, which both promote the development of PLA. However, demand for PLA remains low in Asia, which indicates that most of the new production capacity is for export. Read more in Policies to support development promotes growth of Lactic Acid and PLA in China
  • Used in a spectrum of applications like furniture fillings, shoe soles, cable insulation, paints, etc, Polyurethane (PU) has diverse applications. PU can be difficult to recycle, but could soon be degraded in compost with the discovery of fungi that can degrade the plastic in soil. Furthermore the rate of degradation increases when the volume of these fungi is increased or nutrients are added to the soil to boost the fungi’s activity. Read more in Fungi that can degrade Polyurathane discovered
  • A biobased and biodegradable thermoset plastic for use in inflexible items used in homes and buildings such as telephone casings, insulation foam, trays, tables and lamps has been developed. It is 100% biodegradable and with water it breaks down into its monomers, glycerol and citric acid, two compounds which are completely natural and will be absorbed in the natural cycle. Another development has led to a biodegradable battery in medical implants, that, once out of power, can be absorbed by the body. Read more in Bioplastic is claimed to be first biodegradable thermoset, biodegradable battery absorbed by human body
  • A plastic film that changes color under stress could provide more detailed information in product safety testing and other areas where pressure and strain are measured. The color change persists even after the stress is removed, prompting researchers to dub the material a colorimetric stress memory sensor. It can potentially be used for revealing pressure distribution over even very complex surfaces, such as automobile crash test dummies. Another development has succeeded in copying the colorful nanostructure of the opal. The result is a flexible, colorful material that will not fade over time, that changes color when stretched, and that could have many applications. Not only would the polymer opals be more environmentally-friendly and safer to work with, with color that does not fade or run. Read more in Nanosphere-laced polymer, polymer opals that change color under stress
  • Sugarcane waste has been utilized to produce nanocomposite film with unique physical and mechanical properties. The produced nanocomposite has higher strength in comparison with the majority of biodegradable and non-biodegradable films and could find application in packaging, medicine and electronic industries. Another development offers relief for those who work with hazardous substances by way of protection in an optical sensor, made from a 400 nm thick film of PMMA. Certain gases cause the PMMA to swell, changing the optical resonance of the cavities and producing minute color changes in the polymer detectable by a spectral filter. Read more in Nanocomposite film from sugarcane waste, PMMA film with sensor detects toxic gas