Water soluble and biodegradable thermoplastic pellets based on milk protein has been unveiled by French company Lactips, after a seven-year project by the University of Saint-Etienne to develop films and pellets made of casein, a protein derived from milk. This is a biosourced and biodegradable matter, does not leave any residues or any traces in the environment, making it an environmentally friendly product.
The pellets are mainly made of milk protein, that comes from milk powder industry. The company uses non-edible casein for the non-food application and biodegradable additives. For now, Lactips produces pellets in its lab and at a subcontractor for industrial production, a partner packaging plant manufactures its films. The company, however, is planning to build a manufacturing site in France by the end of 2018.
A group of Egyptian researchers is developing a bioplastic made with dried shrimp shells. Just six months into a two-year project, the team is already seeing some success. Scientists at Nile University clean and chemically treat shrimp shells, then ground them up and dissolve them in a solution that dries to form plastic. The researchers have utilized chitosan, a polymer made from the compound chitin commonly found in crustacean shells, to make their clear, thin plastic prototype. The shells are inexpensively sourced from local supermarkets, restaurants, and fishermen. The shells are then cleaned, chemically treated, ground, and dissolved into a solution that dries into thin films of plastic, a technique the team says has the potential for large-scale industrial production.
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