Next-generation biopolymers: Advanced functionality and improved sustainability

Halley, P. J. and Dorgan, J. R. (2011) Next-generation biopolymers: Advanced functionality and improved sustainability. Mrs Bulletin, 36 9: 687-691. doi:10.1557/mrs.2011.180

Author Halley, P. J.
Dorgan, J. R.
Title Next-generation biopolymers: Advanced functionality and improved sustainability
Journal name Mrs Bulletin   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0883-7694
Publication date 2011-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1557/mrs.2011.180
Volume 36
Issue 9
Start page 687
End page 691
Total pages 5
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
A significant change is occurring in the global polymer industries. Development of a new generation of bio-based polymers, polymers derived from renewable resources, is progressing rapidly. Complementing historical biopolymers such as natural rubber and cellulosics, these new bioplastics include a growing number of commercial successes, including polylactides and polyhydroxyalkanoates. Many more bioplastics are on the near horizon, made possible by rapid advances in biotechnology. The molecular specificity of biochemical transformations is ideally suited for producing high purity monomers needed for making high molecular weight polymer molecules. Some of the newest developments involve the creation of well-established polymers (polyethylene, polybutlylene, poly(ethylene terephthalate)) via new biochemical pathways that start with renewable, rather than fossil, resources. This article highlights some recent advances in bio-based polymers. Specifically, this review includes topics ranging from novel biopolymer synthesis, new bio-based nanocomposites, novel processing, and holistic assessments of sustainability through quantitative life-cycle analysis. It is demonstrated that greener plastic materials can be produced through ecologically responsible conversion of renewable resources using industrial biotechnology and enhanced by nanotechnology. This emerging approach represents a triple technological convergence that promises to significantly alter the value chains of the global plastics industries.
Keyword Degradable Polyethylene
Renewable Resources
Starch Blend
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 13 Nov 2011, 06:01:56 EST by System User on behalf of Aust Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology