Biodegradable Plastic from Potato Starch

Topics: Starch, Cassava, Biodegradable plastic Pages: 9 (2717 words) Published: August 21, 2012
A. Background of the study
Due to the overwhelming demand of plastic bag production and its effects on our environment, our landfills are crammed with these non biodegradable materials. Substances used in the manufacturing brought forth various harmful chemicals which worsen over time. As the destructive compounds such as Chloroflourocarbon were introduced, the complete deprivation of the Ozone Layer starts. However, scientists and nature preservers alike managed to overthrow this hazard, but not entirely. To compensate for the damages, eco products were released. These are the most commonly made of recycled and/or natural organic materials. They utilize nature’s abundant supplies to create a replica or substitute for our plastics. One example would be the “Biodegradable plastic bags” made from the starch of the Cassava plant (Manihot esculent). The new plastic has been able to capture the interests of buyers, enabling it to advocate the benefits and obvious effects one can receive from using an eco friendly product. To further elaborate the example, scientist and researches aim to discover another substitute for this product and perhaps develop a completely new one along the way. Current findings are apparently still limited to the actual Cassava ingredient. B. Statement of the Problem and Objectives

This study aims to determine what other plants can be used to substitute the Cassava in the production of Biodegradable Plastic Bags in terms of starch content and durability. Specifically, the study aims to achieve the following objectives: 1. To search for the plants with the same or similar starch content as the Cassava. 2. To determine if the plant starch is durable enough to be compared against mass produced “oxo biodegradable” plastics. C. Significance of the study

Discovering a new and different ingredient required for the Bio-plastic will provide an alternative source if ever needed. Doing so may also inspire at the same time, an entirely different product with the same components therefore contributing to the eco friendly products. D. Scope and Limitations

This study is limited to the plants, edible or inedible in natures, which contains the similar starch content to that of the Cassava, most likely are the tubers and cereals. The one variable will be prepared using a process the commercially available starch. Another variable is the biodegradable plastic bag from local establishments. The former will undergo a process wherein microorganisms transform the compound till it forms the lactic required for the polymers. Observation and procedures will be done in the Bio-Chem labs of SPCM. The Biodegradable Plastic from the local stores will be used as the control with the extraneous variables as the process and the methods the new alternative plastic will be tested. Duration of the experiment will at most take a month approx. E. Review of Related Literature

"Producing Biodegradable Plastic using Potato Starch”
Conceptual Framework
1. Plant Starch
2.1 Tubers (Cassava, Potatoes, Sweet potatoes)
2.2 Wheats (Corn)
2.3 Starch production
2. Biodegradable Plastics
1.1 Production
1.2 Development

Plant Starch
Starch is a hugely important substance, both to plants and to humans. For plants, it is a compact form in which excess sugars produced during photosynthesis can be stored for later use. For humans, it is a vital component of our diet, and an important commercial product. Starch and its derivatives are already widely employed in the manufacture of paper, textiles and adhesives, and due to their biodegradable and renewable nature they are increasingly being considered as an environmentally-friendly alternative to the use of synthetic additives in many other products, including plastics, detergents, pharmaceutical tablets, pesticides, cosmetics and even oil-drilling fluids. (Gray, 2003) The cassava plant is commonly grown in equatorial regions...
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