News International Sugar Journal

Bioplastics from sugar beet pulp [Registered]

Researchers at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in collaboration with Washington State University (WSU) have developed a biodegradable thermoplastic from sugar beet pulp and polylactic acid (a biodegradable polymer), using a twin screw extruder. Polylactic acid (PLA) is a commercially available polymer derived from plant sugars. Extrusion is a cost-effective manufacturing process that is used in large-scale production of food, plastics, and composite materials. Many biopolymers and their composite materials with petroleum-based polymers also can be extruded. The scientists showed that up to 50% sugar beet pulp can be incorporated with PLA, and the resulting thermoplastic composites retain mechanical properties…

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