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The main purpose of this experiment is to be able to help the society with its environmental issues by creating a biodegradable plastic with Ipomoea Batatas Starch. We will mainly test the starchs effectiveness on the biodegradable plastic. With this we will have 2 set-ups. The first set-up is the one with the said starch and the other one is the normal biodegradable plastic or the plastic without the said starch. Each will be buried and data will be recorded every after 2 days to see which decomposes first. Researchers have noticed that after making the starch, it has hardened. Also after 10 days of data collection, little damage was brought upon the plastic with the starch. Therefore, researchers recorded that Ipomoea Batatas Starch is not an effective component of biodegradable plastic.

Table of Contents:

Chapter I............................................................................

Chapter II..........................................................................

Chapter III.........................................................................


Chapter IV.........................................................................


Chapter V..........................................................................


Chapter VI.........................................................................


Chapter VII........................................................................


Chapter I Introduction:

Plastics are used because they are very useful, cheap, manageable and handy. Plastics have been the fastest growing basic material because they are versatile, light weight, energy saving, durable and recyclable. It has become a popular material used in a wide variety of ways. Plastics can last a long time but unfortunately, this same useful quality can make plastic a huge pollution problem. Its long life means it survives in the environment for long periods where it can do great harm. Non-biodegradable plastics are durable but they degrade very slowly; molecular bonds that make plastic so durable make it equally resistant to natural process of degradation. Plastic packaging provides excellent protection for the product, it is cheap to manufacture and seems to last forever. Lasting forever, however, is proving to be a major environmental problem. Plastics are also a huge problem in waste disposal and studies have been made to find a substitute material which can be used in making biodegradable plastics. Because plastic does not decompose, and requires high energy ultra-violet light to break down, the amount of plastic waste in our oceans is steadily increasing. Studies that have been done locally show about 3, 500 particles of plastic per square kilometer of sea off the southern African coast. The world production of plastic is estimated to be more than 100 million tons per year. Plastics are indeed a threat to wild life. A

great proof for this is that plastics have been found in the stomachs of sea turtles, birds, and fish all over the world. Tragically, millions of tons of plastic are poisoning our oceans. Plastic pollution harms people, animals, and the

environment because it is non-biodegradable. In the marine environment, plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller particles that absorb toxic chemicals, are ingested by wildlife, and enter the food chain that we depend on. People need alternative and effective components of plastic that is safe and biodegradable which will not harm and pollute the earth.

As researchers, we would want to use this Ipomoea batatas starch as a component for making biodegradable plastic so to see the effectiveness of it if it'll become stronger and hopefully last for a shorter time which could be a big help for the environment than just using its ordinary components.


to extract starch out of the sweet potato test the effectiveness of Ipomea batatas as component of biodegaradable plastic with commercial one in terms of biodegradability.

Statement of the Problem:

Is it effective to use Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato) starch as a component for

making biodegradable plastic?


If we use Ipomoea batatas starch as a component in making biodegradable plastic, maybe it will be more effective and may last lesser in terms of days, months or years than it usually does.

Significance of the Study:

The main importance of this study is to reduce plastic since it is harmful to the environment. One significance is to reduce CO2 emissions. One metric ton of bio-plastics generates between 0.8 and 3.2 fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide than one metric ton of petroleum-based plastics. Electronic giant Sony uses PLA in several of its smaller components, including one of its new walkmans, but in future hopes to use PLA-based polymers to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 20pc and non-renewable resource input by 55pc compared to oil-based ABS. Another importance is that it can help in the reduction of oil prices and wastes. Despite currently costing more to produce than conventional plastics, bio-plastics are becoming more viable with increasing and instability in oil prices, which are in turn triggering spikes in conventional plastic costs, illustrated in a sharp upturn two years ago. Dwindling oil supplies means that man will eventually be forced to turn to a sustainable basis for plastics. Also, Bio-plastics reduce the amount of toxic run-off generated by the oil-based alternatives but also are more commonly

biodegradable. The USs second largest biopolymer producer Metabolix, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, claims that its plastics are biodegradable in

composting bins, wetlands and the oceans. On the flip side not all bio-plastics are biodegradable and there are a growing number of conventional plastics that can naturally break down. The downside of their biodegradability is the methane that can be released as the bio-plastics decompose is a powerful greenhouse gas.

Scope and Limitations:

We only limit this on testing the Ipomoea batatas starch's effectiveness on the biodegradable plastic if it is stronger and can last shorter than the normal components of making the biodegradable.

We will do our study exclusively in Alabang, Muntinlupa City. We will only make 2 outputs- 1 plastic has been mixed with Ipomoea batatas starch and the 1 without the Ipomoea batatas starch.

Chapter II Review of Related Literature:

Conceptual Research:

Bioplastic can be produced from plant sources such as sweet potatoes, sugarcane,hemp oil, corn starch etc. Thermoplastic starch is one of the most essential and widely used bio-plastics. They constitute up to 50% of use of bioplastics. The ability of pure starch to absorb humidity makes it a suitable material to b used in bio-plastics which are further used for the manufacture of drug capsules in the pharmaceutical industry. Additives such as sorbitol and glycerine which act as flexibilisers and plasticisers enable the processing of starch thermoplastically. These additives help to make the bioplastic need specific.

Simple starch plastic can also be produced at home using suitable methods. In the past few decades, there has been a marked advance in the development of biodegradable plastics from renewable resources, especially for those derived from starch-based materials. The goal of this development is to obtain biodegradable plastics that perform as well as traditional plastics when in use and which completely biodegrade at disposal. Several starch-based plastics have been introduced into the market, and are used in some applications now. Starch foam is one of the major starch-based packaging materials. It is produced by extrusion or compression/explosion technology. This product has been developed as a replacement for polystyrene which is used to produce loose-fillers and other expanded items. Another type of starch-based plastics is produced by blending or mixing starch with synthetic polyester. For this type of biodegradable plastics, granular starch can be directly blended with polymer, or its granular structure can be destructurized before being incorporated into the polymer matrix. The type of starch and synthetic polymer as well as their relative proportions in the blends influence the properties of the resulting plastics. The last group of starch-based plastics is polyesters that are produced from starch. The major starch-derived polyesters in the market now are polylactic acid and polyhydroxyalkanoate. Experimental studies have demonstrated that cassava starch could be used for making various types of packaging products. As a major source of starch in tropical and subtropical regions, cassava is a promising raw material for the development of biodegradable plastics in these areas especially in the country like ours.

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of Convolvulaceae, I. batatas is the only crop plant of major importancesome others are used locally, but many are actually poisonous. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum). Besides simple starches, sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta carotene (a vitamin A equivalent nutrient), vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Pink, yellow and green varieties are high in carotene, the precursor of vitamin A. In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fiber content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. According to these criteria, sweet potatoes earned 184 points, 100 points over the next on the list, the common potato. Sweet potato varieties with dark orange flesh have more beta carotene than those with light-colored flesh, and their increased cultivation is being encouraged in Africa, where vitamin A deficiency is a serious health problem. Despite the name "sweet", it may be a beneficial food for diabetics, as preliminary studies on animals have revealed it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and to lower insulin resistance. Also, bio-plastics harness the natural structures found in crops or trees, such as slightly modified forms of the chains of sugars in starch or cellulose, that share the ability to be easily reshaped that has made conventional oil based plastics so useful. Bio-materials scientists are also constantly tweaking these natural

structures to try and better replicate the durability and flexibility of conventional plastics.

Related Studies: According to biodiesel pioneer Chemrez Technologies Inc., DOST-ITDI (Department of Science and Technology- Industrial Technology Development Institute) just verified a unique additive that makes plastic materials biodegradable. They invented BioMate. With BioMate, some plastic

materials would brittle easily in 1 to 9 months through the process of photo degradation. This process is the breakdown of plastic by ultraviolet light and thermal energy from the sun. The researchers of Bayugan National Comprehensive High School conducted a study about biodegradable plastics using cassava starch as the main

component. Cassava tubers were gathered, ground and squeezed to extract starch. Starch obtained was weighed and divided into three equal parts; 80 grams in T1, T2 and T3. Treatments also consisted of 60 ml plastic resin glue and resin with 50 grams of flour catalyst for T1, 100 grams for T2 and 150 grams in T3. The components in every treatment were mixed, stirred and then poured in silk screen with oil and then sun-dried. The final phase of the study determined the effectiveness of cassava starch as component of biodegradable plastic. Results confirmed that cassava starch is ideal to use. The researchers observed the product while waiting for it to dry but there were no signs of turning into a plastic. The Cassava starch was too thick

and the researchers realized that it would not turn into a plastic because of its heavy weight and it would take more time before it would dry because of its thickness. After letting T1, T2 and T3 dry under the sun, it became hard. Although the researchers had unexpected results and the Cassava starch did not turn into plastic, studies have already proven that Cassava starch could be used for making various types of packaging products. Cassava is a promising raw material for the development of biodegradable plastics. The research activities have shown and proven that cassava starch is effective in the development of biodegradable packaging materials such as plastics. Studies determined the effectiveness of cassava starch as component of biodegradable plastic. Results confirmed that cassava starch is ideal as tests proved its worth. Therefore, Cassava Starch is an effective component for Biodegradable plastic. Additional Information: Global business is now turning to bio-plastics for an increasing number of applications, as consumers and governments demand cleaner alternatives to petroleum based technologies and their reckless production of the greenhouse gas CO2. NEC and its partners Unitika and NTT DoCoMo produce mobile phone and laptop casings based on plant-derived bio-plastics, mostly PLA. NEC plans to expand its green credentials by substituting more than 10pc of the oil-based plastics in its electronic products with bio-plastics by 2010.

Toyota Motor Corp uses mainly PLA bio-plastics, derived from sweet potatoes corn and sugar beet, reinforced with kenaf to produce components for its cars such as

the Prius and Lexus. It hopes to grow its bio-plastics division into a four billion yen business by 2020 and capture two thirds of the global market for petroleum free plastics.

Fujitsu introduced its FMV BIBLO notebook PC series two years ago, which it has manufactured using a material called Ecodear, a combination of 50 pc PLA and an oil-based plastic. Fujitsu is now developing a castor oil derived PA 11 plastic with Arkema, which is more flexible and will help expand its use of bio-plastics in notebook computers. The material can withstand repeated bending thanks to scientists weakening the interaction of the chain molecule in PA 11 and relaxing the stereoregularity of their organisation. The improved durability means its prototypes of PC cover components consist of 60-80 percent of the new bioplastic, an unprecedented achievement to date. Fujitsu is also using high density fillers to increase strength and extend its use into notebook covers and other applications requiring high impact resistance. The new material is expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 42pc compared to oil-based nylon 6/6. Concise Definition of Terms: Bioplastics - are a form of plastics derived from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, pea starch, or microbiota, rather than fossil-fuel plastics which are derived from petroleum. Some, but not all, bioplastics are designed to biodegrade. Biodegradable - capable of decaying through the action of living organisms Ipomoea Batatas sweet potato

Starch - is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds Plastic - is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products Chapter III Methodology:


A. Raw Materials 3 or 4 pieces of sweet potato about 150 grams each Resin glue with an amount about 50 grams Flour catalyst about 100 grams Cooking oil about 100 grams 300 mL of water Cornstarch about 56 grams

B. Tools for Measuring A 100 mL graduated cylinder Table spoon

C. Other Needed Materials 3 or 4 pieces of clean dry medium-sized containers

Peeler Knife Blender Small Shovel 2 clean dry cloths/towels 1 medium-sized silk screen 1 big mixing bowl (either stainless or wooden) 1 big spoon for mixing (either stainless or wooden) Medium-sized rocks with at least 50 pieces (about 500-1000 grams)


A. Preparation of Starch from the Sweet Potatoes:

For the preparation of the starch from the sweet potatoes, first prepare the necessary materials like the peeler, knife, blender, 2 clean square mediumsized containers, 2 clean dry cloths/towels and the sweet potatoes (all of it). Then peel the skin of the sweet potatoes. Make sure you do it slowly and peel them one by one. After which, cut the sweet potatoes into cubes. After cubing them, ground them using a blender until thoroughly mixed. Put the grounded sweet potatoes into one of the 2 clean dry medium-sized containers. Start squeezing them using the dry cloths/towels. Make sure when you squeeze them, there is another clear container beneath them so to catch the extracted

starch. Do this step again and again until you have used all the grounded sweet potatoes and have already extracted them into starch.

B. Production of Biodegradable Plastic:

To make biodegradable plastic with the sweet potato starch, first prepare all the needed materials like the resin glue, the flour catalyst, cooking oil, a pair of gloves, the medium-sized silk screen and the sweet potato starch. Also prepare a big mixing bowl, the 100 mL graduated cylinder and a big spoon for mixing. Using the graduated cylinder, measure 15 mL of sweet potato starch, 80 mL of resin glue and 25 mL of flour catalyst in the graduated cylinder and do this one by one. After this, put all these components into the big mixing bowl and mix them using the mixing spoon. With the medium-sized silk screen, pour it with the cooking oil until almost all of the silk screen is covered with the oil. Then pour the mixed components into the oil-covered silk screen. Put the gloves on your hands and mold the components to what you want to form it into which likely is to form the plastic. After which, sun-dry the components and wait until it hardens. Detach it slowly from the silk screen after dry.

C. Testing the Biodegradability of the Plastics

In testing the biodegradable plastics (with and without the Ipomoea Batatas starch), all you need

to do is dig 2 small holes in your backyard or in a nearby soil area by using a small shovel. Put each plastic in each hole and cover it up with soil again. After 2 days, dig it up and gather your results. Check it up every after 2 days in a week and record the data.

Chapter IV Results and Discussions:

Comparison Between Biodegradable Plastic with Ipomea batatas and Commercial Plastic

Time Frame


Biodegradable Plastic with Ipomoea Batatas Starch white no smell soft none white earthly smell

Commercial Plastic

After 2 days

Ater 2 days

color odor texture presence of holes color odor

white no smell soft none white earthly smell

texture After 2 days presence of holes color odor texture After 2 days presence of holes color odor texture After 2 days presence of holes color odor texture presence of holes

soft none white earthly smell soft none yellowish white earthly smell hardening none yellowish white earthly smell hardening small holes

soft none yellowish white earthly smell softer small holes yellowish white smells bad hardening small holes (bigger) yellowish white foul smell hard big holes

Analysis of Data:

Based on the table given above, we can see that the plastic made with the Ipomoea Batatas Starch has a longer biodegradability than the one mixed without the said starch. The commercial plastic decayed faster than the plastic with Ipomoea Batatas starch. Observations:

Observations with Ipomoea Batatas Starch:

Observations without the Ipomoea Batatas Starch:

The plastic with the Ipomoea Batatas It takes days or weeks to let a normal Starch also hardens a bit within about a plastic decay. month under the ground (not after 10 days under the ground).

The plastic does change color a bit. The plastic smells very bad and holes Though it smells differently, it still are visible. It becomes hard and thin doesnt change it terms of composition. and holes are very visible in the plastic. Worms dont surround the plastic much Worms surround it and holes become compared to the plastic without the said bigger the longer you put in under the starch. ground. It decays quite fast.

Chapter V Conclusions and Recommendations: Summary:

This experiment is about the effectiveness of Ipomoea Batatas Starch as a component to biodegradable plastic. The main importance of this experiment is to help lessening the plastics found in land and in the seas. Through this, we extracted starch from Ipomoea Batatas (sweet potato) and mainly had 2 set-ups. One plastic with the said starch and the other without the starch (commercial plastic). We then buried both plastics in the soil and recorded data every after 2

days for 10 whole days. As we analyzed the data, we realized that the said starch doesnt shorten the biodegradability of the plastic but it lengthens it.


We therefore conclude that based on the gathered data, Ipomoea Batatas Starch (sweet potato starch) is not an effective component for the

biodegradabililty of a plastic. Hence , it lengthen the time for the plastic to get biodegradable.


People who also want to test this should test this in more than weeks. At least a month would do so to gather more results and data. In making the plastics, always do the right procedure and always be aware of the things that might possibly happen. Never forget to record data and if possible, be accurate in

collecting data. You can also compare plastics with either cassava starch or cornstarch to the plastic with the Ipomoea Batatas starch. Chapter VI Bibliography: Sources: odegradable Roxas, 2009, Cassava starch as an effective component for Ideal Biodegradable Plastics, q=cache:l3FaLTe1pSsJ:images.marieeeeeeeeeeeeeeel.multiply.multiplyconte %2520FINAL.doc?nmid %3D321634822+investigatory+project+about+biodegradable+plastic&hl= tl&gl=ph

Chapter VII Appendix:

Making of Biodegradable Plastic with Ipomoea Batatas Starch:

Results: 1st 2 days:

Results: After 2 days:

Results: Next 2 days:

Results: After Another 2 Days:

Results: Last 2 Days:

De La Salle Santiago Zobel School University Ave., Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa City SY 2011-2012 THE STUDY OF THE IPOMOEA BATATAS STARCH AS A MORE EFFECTIVE COMPONENT FOR THE PRODUCTION OF BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements in Biology Submitted by: FC Xaika Saldivar (all chapters) Sandra Sisik (chapter I, II,) Patricia Marquez (chapter IV, V) Sara Castaneda (chapter II, III) Jack Paraiso (chapter VI) Jopee Pendoza (chapter VII) September 1, 2011