Brazil Used Sugarcane Bagasse To Produce Plastic

With volatile oil prices and growing concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, the chemical industry is looking for renewable alternatives to diversify its sources of raw materials. Sugarcane ethanol has emerged as an important ingredient to substitute for petroleum in the production of plastic.

According to the Science and Technology Daily, it is reported that Sao Paulo Research Foundation of Brazil and the University of Sao Paulo are actively promoting the production of Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) by using sugarcane ethanol or the bagasse ethanol. PHA is a type of biodegradable plastic, which can be generateed by the fermentation in plant residue.

Another form of bioplastic is polyhydroxybutyrate (or PHB), manufactured by PHB Industrial S/A using 100% Brazilian technology. This bioplastic, which goes by the branded name Biocycle, is produced entirely from sugarcane bagasse, making it completely biodegradable and compostable. Biocycle can be used in autoparts, cosmetics packaging, toys, credit cards, cutlery, agricultural parts and more.

Sugarcane polyethylene ( CAS:9002-88-4 )replaces 30 percent or more of the petroleum that would otherwise be used to manufacture the plastic. Each metric ton of bio – polyethylene produced avoids the emission of 2 to 2.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide on a lifecycle basis.

These so-called “bioplastics” have the same physical and chemical properties as regular plastic (the most common type is known technically as PET) and maintain full recycling capabilities. Use of bioplastics is still developing. But a number of leading companies have established themselves as major players in this emerging area.

 

The Properties Of Polyethylene

 

Polyethylene (abbreviated PE) or polythene (IUPAC name polyethene or poly(ethylene) ) is the most common plastic. As the name implies, it is chemically synthesized from molecules that contain long chains of ethylene, a monomer that provides the ability to double bond with other carbon-based monomers to form polymers. The annual production of approximately 80 million metric tons. Its primary use is within packaging (plastic bag, plastic films, geomembranes, etc.). Many kinds of polyethylene are known, but they almost always have the chemical formula (C2H2)nH2.

Most people may have heard and seen the two most common forms of this polymer: Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Since its properties of the former contain a greater degree of long chain branching, the matrix is less dense and doesn’t offer as much tensile strength as the latter. Since this is the case, LDPE is less expensive to produce and process than similar polymers.

HDPE, on the other hand, is a more durable grade of polyethylene due to a higher density and linear crystallization. The properties of this material make it suitable for use in producing many types of stress-resistant plastics intended for consumer and commercial use. For example, HDPE is used to make gallon-sized milk containers, as well as plumbing fixtures.

Except density, molecular weight, and stress resistance, other properties are considered to rate function and application. These include shock or impact strength, shear rate — rate of polymer melt and flow — and sag resistance, which refers to how the material holds up to melting and remolding. All of these factors impact how the material will perform during processing. In addition, since much of the raw material used in the plastics industry today may come from recycled polymer resins, polyethylene properties can vary widely, even between different batches presented as the same material.

While polyethylene is essential to the economic health of the plastics industry, most consumers readily recognize the role it plays in everyday life. In fact, this substance is found in many ordinary household items, such as food wrap, shampoo bottles, milk containers, toys, and the common plastic bag used to tote groceries home from the store. However, PE is also present in numerous other products that contain plastic components. For instance, it is used to manufacture artificial knee and hip replacement parts, bulletproof vests, and even glassy flooring for ice skating rinks.

Unfortunately, its environmental impact is cause for concern. For one thing, poly(ethylene) does not readily biodegrade and can reside in a landfill for hundreds of years. However, diligent recycling may significantly reduce this problem. In addition, scientists are exploring the possibility of employing Sphingomonas, an aerobic bacteria shown to shorten biodegrading of some forms of polyethylene to just a few months. Environmental preservation efforts have also led to the development of bioplastics, with the aim of synthesizing the polymer from ethanol obtained from sugarcane.

Is HDPE Plastic Safe?

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a type of plastic made from petroleum. Since this material can be remolded by subsequent melting and shaping, it is classified as a polyethylene thermoplastic. It can also be joined in segments when welded or machined. However, it does not accept adhesives very well.

As the name implies, high-density polyethylene is denser than most other polymer plastics, namely low-density polyethylene. The specific density of HDPE is 0.94 to 0.95 of a gram per cubic centimeter. Water is 1 gram per cubic centimeter. This means, per unit size, HDPE weighs 0.05 of a gram less than water. A solid block of HDPE will float, but just barely.

HDPE’s ultraviolet resistance is poor. The plastic will break down and become weak in ultraviolet light. As sunlight is mostly ultraviolet light, this is not a good plastic to use for long-term outdoor applications, such as outdoor flowerpots.

The water absorption rate for HDPE is 0.01 percent. At any given weight, HDPE will only absorb one hundredth of one percent of water. This is a microscopic amount. For all practical purposes, it is impenetrable to water. This is why it is a suitable plastic for containers, such as water bottles.

Since high-density polyethylene is so durable and chemically non-reactive, it has numerous applications in various industries. It is used in many different types of packaging containers, such as milk and laundry detergent bottles, as well as plastic grocery bags. It is also found in storage systems designed to store chemicals and fuels. In fact, HDPE is used to produce materials to act as chemical barriers, such as liners that are placed under landfills to help prevent soil and groundwater contamination. One of the most common uses of this material is in the manufacturing of wood plastic composites to make furniture, flooring, fencing, and landscaping materials.

In terms of environmental impact, products made of high-density polyethylene(CAS:9002-88-4) do not readily biodegrade in landfills. Such products can be recycled, though, albeit at the risk of losing some of its original tensile strength. Since this material is constructed of hydrogen and carbon, being subjected to high heat merely results in the release of water and carbon dioxide. However, additives, such as fire retardants, UV-stabilizers, and dyes, can produce other toxins. In addition, some environmental groups express concern over the potential hazard from the leeching of phthalates used in producing some children’s toys made from HDPE, such as teething rings.

For those maintaining concerns about HDPE plastics, glass or stainless steel are bisphenol A-free materials that can be used in lieu of HDPE for most applications.

The Flexibility Of Polyethylene(PE) Pipe

Generally, piping system installation begins with the arrival and temporary storage of pipe, fittings, and other goods required for the system. Assembly and installation follow, then system testing and finally, release for operation. Throughout the installation process, various inspections and tests are performed to ensure that the installation is in accordance with specification requirements and that the system when completed is capable of functioning according to its design specifications.

Polyethylene(also known as polythene or polyethene, abbreviated as PE)  pipe is piping constructed of a flexible plastic created with the use of petroleum byproducts. The flexibility of the pipe is one of the main advantages of polythene piping, as this makes it possible to install piping into spaces and configurations that would never be possible with metal pipes.

PE((C2H4)n) piping products are integrated pipe and fitting systems for a broad range of commercial, municipal, utility and industrial applications. They may be buried, laid on the surface, supported above grade, installed underwater, or floated on the surface of lakes or rivers. In the selection, design, and installation of PE piping systems, professional engineering services, and qualified installers should be used.

The degree of flexibility found in different grades of polyethene help to determine the final use of the plastic. Low density polythene, known as LDPE, is among the most flexible of all grades. Within the LDPE family, linear low density polyethylene is considered the most durable and also the least expensive of plastics of this grade. High density polyethylene, known as HDPE, is more rigid in texture, but tends to be more resistant to heat. HDPE is often a good option when the polythene pipe will be used as part of a simple plumbing system.

The type of polyethylene used to create the pipes is somewhat different from other polythene-based products. PE is available in several different grades, each of them useful in different applications. Many of the polymer or plastic items people use today are made with this type of plastic. For example, it can be used to make simple plastic grocery bags, camera film, plastic sheets, and even squeeze bottles.

The material used to make the pipes is less costly than the processes used to manufacture different types of metal piping. When coupled with the relative flexibility and ease of installation, polyethylene pipe becomes an obvious choice for use around the home, especially in areas that are not exposed to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight.

While there is a chance of cracking in cold weather, especially if the water in the line should freeze, the piping holds up very well in moderate climates and requires nothing more than basic care to remain functional for a number of years.