Equipment/Technology, Europe, UK, Ireland, Research, Sustainability, Trends

Researchers pioneer new eco-friendly plastic alternative made from potato starch

The Spanish University of Alicante’s Waste, Energy, Environment and Nanotechnology (REMAN) research group has developed a process to obtain a water-soluble plastic material based on potato starch. It will soon be introduced on the market through the UA technology-based company Solublion.

According to professor of Chemical Engineering Ignacio Martín Gullón, this new material is also compostable and biodegradable, so it is suitable for use as a flexible film, preferably in bags and packaging, and has great advantages over existing materials.

The development of this new material arose from a thesis on thermoplastic starch for the development of environmentally sustainable materials by now president and CEO of Solublion, Daniel Domene López. His intention was that this new material would make a relevant contribution to mitigating the impact caused by the poor management of conventional plastic waste as it does not generate an environmental problem at the end of its useful life.

Daniel Domene López explained that the consumption of worldwide plastic materials before the pandemic was around 370 million metric tons, a figure that they estimate could exceed 400 million in the coming years due to the increase in packaging and single-use materials.

As explained by Ignacio Martín, his group’s solutions are intended for use in the packaging and single-use plastics industry as a direct replacement for conventional alternatives.

Source: University of Alicante
Photo: Ignacio Martín, on the left of the picture, with Daniel Domene. Credit University of Alicante

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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