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Biorefinery, circular economy, biomass resources, etc.

A video about biorefinery, circular economy, and biomass resources
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In this VIDEO you will explore the current  situation and future perspectives of bioplastics.   We will show a quick overview of the main types  of bioplastics already present on the market,   together with the challenges faced by these  promising materials and further possible   alternatives. Enjoy this brief journey. Bioplastics can be classified in many ways.   If classified based on their origin, we have  bioplastics directly extracted from biomass,   synthesized from biomass monomers,   produced by microorganisms …… …or even from petrol-based mass,   but still biodegradable. Today, the global production of   bioplastics is less than 2% of the total  plastic production and less than half of   these are actually biodegradable.
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As you saw  previously, one of the bioplastics definitions   refers to materials produced from biomass  monomers, but not necessarily biodegradable….  ….That is the case of bio-based  polyethylene and polypropilene,   and bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (the  famous PET), as well as bio-based polyamides,   which currently represent around 50 percent  (1 million tons) of bioplastics production.  They have exactly the same structure, properties  and uses as their non-bio counterparts,   are not biodegradable, thus contribute  to the environmental pollution.  
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The only difference is the source: they are  produced from bioethanol instead of petroleum.  The other family of bioplastics which is  quickly coming to the market are starch-based   bioplastics. Starch, a natural energy source  in human nutrition, can be turned into ductile   plastics with simple chemical modifications,  additives or blending with other biopolymers.  Today you may find starch-based  plastic bags in many supermarkets.  Another bioplastic that is being used  is polybutylene adipate terephtalate   (in short PBAT), a copolymer of a petrol-based  biodegradable polymer and conventional PET.  Fully biodegradable bioplastic materials are the  most interesting ones and drive the growth of   this economic sector.
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They include polylactic  acid (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA).   PLA is derived from starch and is commonly  marketed as disposable plastic cups and cutlery.  Their main drawback is that producton of  these materials competes with food resources,   and this is a vary bad news, and they  are still too expensive in comparison   with petrol-derived plastics. An alternative that is being   explored is the use of agricultural  and forestry by-products and residues   to obtain biopolymers, and the use of marine  biomass. These are areas of intense research.  Packaging remains the largest application of  bioplastics with almost 65 percent (1.2 million   tons) of the total bioplastic market in  2018.
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Asia is currently the main producer.  Only one fifth of the production is located  in Europe, but it is predicted to grow,   boosted by recently adopted policies in some  European Member States, such as Italy and France.  If you are interested in learning more about  biopolymers and current research trends in this   area, we leave you some links and a glossary  of the terms we we have used, in next steps

In this video lesson you will be exposed to and learn about the innovative ideas of circular and green economy, the use of biomass and the recycling of resources. This is quite a complex issue : while on the one side is very promising and much needed for our future, on the other side needs to be comprehended and made efficient. Don’t miss this important lesson, we are sure that will be very useful for all.

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Consumer and Environmental Safety: Food Packaging and Kitchenware

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