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Lignin-based Biodegradable Plastic

Tech ID:
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Hoyong Chung
Licensing Manager:

Researchers at Florida State University have developed a cost-effective and non-polluting biodegradable polymer as an attractive alternative for current petroleum-based plastics. The material is prepared from cheap and naturally degradable biomass lignin and castor oil-based substances. After several years of use, the resulting degradation end products are environmentally non-toxic. The polymer can be used on its own or blended with other resins to achieve improved, tailor-made features.

This material can be used as a replacement for petroleum-based plastics, including:
• Bottles
• Shopping bags
• Fishing nets
• Straws
• Multi-pack beverage rings

Compared to petroleum-based plastics:
• Biomass-based
• Biodegradable
• Sustainable

Compared to other biodegradable plastics such as PLA and PHB:
• Biomass source – castor oil and lignin – is not food-based and not subject to global pressures
• Recyclable
• Low-cost
• Can be readily incorporated into existing conventional processes and machinery
• Tough, strong, and easily tunable
• Totally synthetic manufacturing process