Products and operators
As part of bioplastics produced from starch, it is important to appoint the “Mater-Bi“of Novamont, an Italian company that produces the material at the plant in Terni.
The constituents of Mater-Bi are of course the amylose and the amylopectin, which are the two sugars that formerly constitute the starch. The industrial process and the addition of complexant substances ensures that said sugars will be present in crystalline or amorphous phases suitably dosed and bound together to obtain the desired characteristics.
The importance of the Mater-Bi derives from the fact that its features mimic very well those of polyethylene which is currently one of the most widely used polymers.
Also the example of mulching cloth in the previous paragraph comes from a study done in Liguria by the collaboration with Novamont and its Mater-Bi.
Besides the already mentioned Mater-Bi, the number of materials and manufacturers that are emerging on the market in the last decade continues to grow.
Below is a list of the most important.
|Ingeo of NatureWorks LLC|
|The products of Cereplast|
|The products of Biolice|
|The Minerv of Bio-On|
|The Biocérès of Futuramat|
|The Biotec of Bioplast|
|The Mirel of Metabolix|
Many of these products are similar to the Mater-Bi, others are polylactates, that is polymers of lactic acid, or poly-hydroxy-alkanoates.
As already mentioned, most of the raw material comes from the cultivation of corn.
According to Biolice, the balance of the corn crop would be advantageous: each hectare of land cultivated with corn, in fact, produces 17 tons of biomass and oxygen, removing 25 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, compared with a consumption of only 7 tons of water.
The category of the poly-hydroxy-alkanoates is the one that promises the most interesting development so the next section is dedicated to them.