Super-tough materials derived from inedible plants are lightweight, renewable and strong enough to use in vehicles
A new polymer blend made from castor beans is stronger and lighter than conventional structural materials, and researchers say it could improve the safety and fuel efficiency of cars.
Castor beans are notorious for containing the poison ricin, but it’s possible to turn them into polyamide 11, a thermoplastic from the nylon family of polymers. Now, scientists from Japan have developed a super-strong polymer blend by mixing polyamide 11 with the common household plastic polypropylene, that could replace many of the plastics we use today.
German biodegradable and biobased plastics producer Bio-Fed has added renewable resource-based polyamide compounds, the “MVera ECS” products, to its portfolio. The main focus of Bio-Fed is on compostable and biodegradable plastic compounds for film applications as well as injection moulding.
The new PA 6.10 fulfils the standard definition of a bioplastic since it is made up of approximately 60% renewable resources. Castor oil, derived from the seeds of the plant Ricinuns communis, forms the basis of sebacic acid, which is the product’s renewable raw material content.
Zeal Optics has launched two new ellume polarized styles marking the debut of Z-Lite, a new level of lightness in eco-friendly eyewear.
Z-Lite uses Zeal’s proprietary plant based Z-resin which is crafted into light, durable and stylish frames through a revolutionary “thin injection process”.
Z-Lite, a derivative of ZEAL’s plant based Z-Resin, comes from the castor bean plant. This material replaces traditional petroleum-based plastics in the manufacturing process and significantly reduces the amount of CO2 produced.
EAI, the parent company of CastorOil.in, had been studying the bioplastics industry for the past few years and in the recent past we had the opportunity to look at the sector, in India and worldwide at close quarters.
Based on these, we have put together an exclusive team to provide strategic and market consulting for the global bioplastics industry.
Scientists from India performed esterification of furfuryl alcohol and castor oil fatty acid at 3:1 molar ratio, by immobilized Candida antarctica Lipase B in a solvent free system. A maximum yield of ester was obtained. Performance of the FA-COFA ester plasticized Ethyl Cellulose (EC) films were evaluated by certain characteristic studies.
Results showed that the furfuryl alcohol-castor oil fatty acid ester with significant plasticizing property at a certain concentration could act as a substitute for traditional plasticizer dibutyl phthalate.
Researchers from Finland have found a method to produce novel castor oil segmented thermoplastic polyurethanes which have controlled mechanical properties.
Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is an elastomer that is fully thermoplastic. Like all thermoplastic elastomers, TPU is elastic and melt-processable. TPU is a linear segmented block copolymer composed of hard and soft segments. The hard segment can be either aromatic or aliphatic. The soft segment can either be a polyether or polyester type, depending on the application.
The new study shows that it is possible to produce thermoplastic polyurethanes using castor oil via polyaddition approach where the formation of prepolymers needs to be carried out with the addition of small amount of castor oil and excess of diisocyanate in the very first step. This is followed by the addition of the other polyols and finally a low molecular weight chain extender.
Results showed that the synthesized polyurethanes exhibited good biocompatibility and high transparency.