Fully Bio-based Biodegradable Thermoset Polymer: Glycix
Reducing the amount of plastic waste in the world
In order to address the problem of ever-increasing amounts of toxic plastic waste, researchers at the University of Amsterdam have developed a Glycix that is 100% biodegradable. With water it breaks down into its monomers, i.e. glycerol and citric acid, two compounds that are completely natural and will be absorbed in the natural cycle. The decomposition rate depends on the degree to which the plastic has been hardened. All inflexible plastic items used in homes and buildings can be made from this polymer, items such as computer and telephone casings, insulation foam, trays, tables and lamps.
Image: V.R. Calderone
Easy to process
Processing Glycix is low-tech. Injection moulding is easy. The substance easily adheres to other materials and can therefore be used in combination with stainless steel, glass, etc. Up until now, all biodegradable plastics were thermoplastic polymers and these thermoset plastics, by definition, entail a waste disposal problem, whether they are discarded, or end up in landfill. Glycix plastics will be re-absorbed by nature all by themselves, decomposing completely into vegetal material. As the plastic is broken-down in contact with water Glxcix products would not be suitable for outdoor applications without treatment, however it is perfectly suitable for replacing many interior plastic products.