Cotton waste can be turned into biodegradable plastic

The process of obtaining cotton for the manufacture of threads andThe fabric consists of several steps, and after it remains waste that is simply thrown away at landfills, or incinerated. According to researchers from the Australian University of Deakin, the remaining debris can be used more intelligently, and turn it into biodegradable plastic. He, in turn, can be a cheap and environmentally friendly replacement of synthetic materials based on oil.

Cotton is obtained from a plant calledcotton, after maturation of which special machines separate cotton fibers from seeds. According to Professor Maryam Naebe from the University of Deakin, during this process, 29 million tons of cotton fluff (lint) are produced annually, and a third of this volume is discarded due to the presence of villi, lumps of fibers and stuck together seeds. As it turned out, this garbage can be used to create plastic films.

Eco-friendly cotton plastic

Researchers have shown that the remains of cottonfibers, seeds and stems can be dissolved in environmentally friendly chemicals, and a liquid organic polymer can be made to create a plastic film. It is believed that the products of this material quickly decompose in the ground, and in addition serve as an excellent fertilizer for the growth of new cotton.

Bioplastic can decompose and turn into soil, which then, in turn, will be used to grow cotton, ”Maryam Nahebe explained.

Besides the fact that plastic from cotton wastedecomposes well, its production is much cheaper than the creation of synthetic materials from petroleum. At the moment, researchers want to apply the same technology to plant waste of lemongrass and wheat, as well as sawdust and shavings.

Cotton waste (in the middle), and biodegradable plastic (at the edges)

Creating a biodegradable plastic is alsoengaged by researchers from Tel Aviv University. In 2018, they said that even waste products of marine plankton can serve as raw materials for the manufacture of environmentally friendly materials. More information about their idea can be found in our material.

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