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I N C O O P E R AT I O N W I T H T H E

DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

BIODEGRADABLE
ABSTRACT
The study aims to produce
biodegradable plastic using cassava starch
as its main product.
Cassava starch was mixed with water,

PLASTIC FROM
epoxydized soya bean oil (ESBO), glycerol,
and polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). The mixture
was then compressed and tested.
Three preparations were made from

CASSAVA
the mixture.

Preparation I:
50 grams starch

(Manihot esculenta)
50 grams water
50 grams PVA
2.5 grams ESBO
2.5 grams glycerol

STARCH
Preparation II:
65 grams starch
65 grams water
50 grams PVA
2.5 grams ESBO
2.5 grams glycerol

Preparation III:
80 grams starch
80 grams water
50 grams PVA
2.5 grams ESBO
2.5 grams glycerol

The first preparation exhibited the


most desirable mechanical properties. The
material produced was proven to be
biodegradable.

INTRODUCTION
There is an increasing demand for
plastic, from the highly technological fields
of electronics, fiber optics, and
pharmaceuticals to the basic necessities such
as sandwich wrappers and garbage bags.
This high demand for plastics, however, has
been a major contributor to the world’s
present garbage problems. The researches
aimed at developing biodegradable plastics
is one big step to lessen, if not totally
eliminate, this global concern.

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The use of biodegradable plastics has bacteria. Films and packaging materials Batch I:
already started in the United States. Some from synthetic polymers are normally 50 grams PVA (1:4 ratio of PVA
plastics use cornstarch as an additive. This attacked at a very low rate. New polymers to water)
additive helps in the natural decomposition such as nylon, polyvinyl chloride and 50 grams water
of the plastic materials. polystyrene have replaced cellulose, the 50 grams starch
Cassava is basically composed of pioneer plastic material. These plastic 2.5 grams ESBO
starch. Cassava starch is composed of two materials have become permanent wastes. 2.5 grams glycerol
components: amylose and amylopectin. There are various methods in making Batch II:
Amylose is a long straight chain of polymer biodegradable plastics. The simplest is the 50 grams PVA (1:4 ratio of PVA
of anhydroglucose units. Amylopectin is a production of plastic from the extraction of to water)
branch of chain compound, also of casein from milk. Casein is obtained in two 65 grams water
anyhydroglucose units. Because plastics are ways: 1) by souring, with the use of lactic 65 grams starch
made of polymers, starch is a very favorable acid; and 2) by boiling together with an 2.5 grams ESBO
raw material in plastic-making. additive, such as acetic acid. 2.5 grams glycerol
The study was limited to one species Starch is a natural organic polymer Batch III:
of cassava, Manihot esculenta. The plastic manufactured by green plants through 50 grams PVA (1:4 ratio of PVA
produced was treated with different amounts photosynthesis. It occurs in the form of to water)
of starch, polyvinyl alcohol (binder), grains in many parts of the plant, principally 80 grams water
epoxidized soya bean oil (stabilizer), and in embryonic tissues such as seeds, fruits, 80 grams starch
glycerol (plasticizer). roots and tubers. 2.5 grams ESBO
The finished product was expected Polyvinyl alcohol is a colorless, 2.5 grams glycerol
to be comparable to commercial plastics in odorless, tasteless, thermoplastic synthetic
terms of clarity, reaction to acids and bases, resin. It is commonly used for grease- Measured amounts of water and
water absorption, tensile stress and tensile proofing paper, in adhesives, in gas- and starch were mixed and boiled, using a hot
strain, electrical conductivity and oil-impervious films and coatings. This plate (at 80 degrees Centigrade), until a
flammability. substance, although soluble in water, is sticky paste was formed. After removing
insoluble in common organic solvents. the starch-water mixture from the hot plate,
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Glycerol is the simplest trihydric the rest of the materials were added.
The word plastic came from the alcohol. In commercial form, it is called After mixing all the materials, the
Greek word plastikos, whih means “capable glycerin. It is a colorless, odorless and mixture was passed through a roll-mill with
of being molded.” Plastics can be as hard as viscous liquid with a sweet taste. It is a temperature of 118 degrees to 120 degrees
metal or as soft as silk. They can take any completely soluble in water and alcohol but Centigrade. Then, it was compressed, using
shape in almost any form due to the is only slightly soluble in many common a compressor with a temperature of
versatility of the carbon, the most common solvents, such as ether, ethyl acetate and 130 degrees Centigrade for seven minutes.
backbone of polymer chains. Plastics can dioxane. It is widely used in coatings and The samples produced were cut into
be conveniently divided into two categories: paints, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. 1-inch-by-2-inch strips for testing.
semi-synthetic, in which the basic chain Plastic production is a relatively new Several tests were conducted to
structure is derived from a natural product, technology. Experiments are being determine the mechanical properties of the
such as cellulose; and synthetic, which is conducted to relieve the negative effects of samples.
built up chemically from small units or overproducing plastics. By changing its raw The plastics were inspected to
monomers. materials and additives, commercial plastic determine their opacity, translucency and
Despite the various applications of may be improved so that it will become transparency.
plastics, drawbacks have been encountered biodegradable while retaining its good To determine the effects of strong
in three major points. Firstly, there are certain quality. acids, the plastic strips were immersed in
chemicals used in the manufacture of plastics concentrated hydrochloric acid (HCI) for
that may cause allergic reactions. There is a METHODOLOGY 30 minutes. Changes in length, width and
need to protect humankind from these In order to determine the right appearance were noted. A tensile test was
threats. Secondly, since cellulose films are combination, three batches with different also conducted. Strips were hooked to a
biodegradable, they are readily attacked by proportions were prepared. spring balance and were pulled until they

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It was observed in the strong base SUMMARYAND CONCLUSIONS
tore apart. The readings on the balance when test that instead of being dissolved, the Favorable results were obtained in
the strips broke were recorded. To test the samples absorbed the liquid. No significant the Strong Acid Test, Strong Base Test, and
samples for flammability, strips with the difference was observed in the dimensions Flammability Test. The samples were found
same dimensions were burned using Bunsen of the three preparations and the control. to be water-soluble. However, the samples
burners. Burning time was noted. An organic When tested for flammability, the would not dissolve in ethanol, an organic
solvent test was also conducted by samples completely burned. It was also solvent.
immersing the material in ethanol for observed that the samples produced resisted All samples were biodegradable.
48 hours. Changes in length, width and heat better since they took longer to burn.
appearance were also noted. The soil biodegradability test showed RECOMMENDATIONS
The samples underwent that there was a significant reduction in the The samples dissolved in water
biodegradability tests. The strips were size of the samples when buried in the soil because the binder (PVA) used is water-
stapled to a piece of cardboard and buried in for a week. soluble. In order to solve this problem, an
a can of soil. They were unearthed after a The samples dissolved in water. This alternate binder may be used. A water-proof,
week. Their final dimensions were recorded. may be because the binder (PVA) used is biodegradable coating may be used to solve
To determine the effects of water, the samples water-soluble. However, the samples would this problem. Antioxidants may also be used
were immersed in a bottle of chlorinated not dissolve in ethanol since the binder to make the product more transparent.
water. The bottle was sealed so as to isolate (PVA) used is insoluble to organic solvents.
its contents from the external environment. Exposure to air did not have any
After a week, their final dimensions were effect on the samples.
noted. In conducting the air test, the strips
were exposed to open air for a week. Changes TESTING RESULTS
in the dimensions were also noted. TABLE 1. TEXTURE
PREPARATION REPLICATE DESCRIPTION
RESULTSAND DISCUSSIONS
I 1 smooth, translucent
The quality of plastic produced
2 with air bubbles,
greatly depends on the proportion of
slightly rough
additives used. Any difference in the 3 with air bubbles,
formulation may bring about changes in slightly rough
terms of flexibility, color, transparency and
texture. The difference in the amount of II 1 slightly rough
starch had an effect in the texture and 2 translucent, and
transparency of the samples (see Table 1). 3 thicker than Prep. I
The different proportions were formulated
III 1 thickest of the three preps.,
to test which of the samples from the
2 yellowish,
different formulations would exhibit the best
3 and a bit opaque
properties. The rest of the formula were kept
at a constant amount to test the effect of control 1 smooth, translucent
variations in starch content. (polyethylene plastic) 2 smooth, translucent
Commercial plastic served as the 3 smooth, translucent
control. All the preparations, except for
Preparation I which is the only sample that
underwent the Tensile Stress Test, were
subjected to the same tests. The tests were
Researchers:
conducted to find out which among the Note:
Leah Dolly Girao No part of this article may be used or reproduced in
samples is comparable with the control. Rolando Giancarlo Inciong any form whatsoever without written permission
The strong acids had unfavorable Emanuelle Jacinto from the Philippine Science High School, Diliman,
effects on the samples, unlike the control Bambii Joanne Magbuhat Quezon City, except in the case of brief citation as
which did not manifest any change. Sherwin Louie Sayson embodied in the laws of scientific articles and reviews.

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