New Biodegradable Polymer Developed by Indian Scientists

New Biodegradable Polymer Developed by Indian Scientists

  • 06-Oct-2021 12:16 PM
  • Journalist: S. Jayavikraman

Ministry of Science and Technology today revealed that a team of Indian scientists have developed a new biodegradable polymer using guar gum and Chitosan. The polymer is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and biodegradable in nature. The fabricated guar gum-chitosan film has high water stability, high mechanical strength, weather resistance. 

Both guar gum and chitosan are polysaccharides which are extracted from guar beans and shells of crabs and shrimps. Polysaccharides are biopolymers having high potential for use in packaging application. However, there are some disadvantages of using polysaccharides in polymer applications such as low mechanical properties, high water-solubility, and low barrier properties. This is the reason why the scientists have done research to overcome these drawbacks in order to develop a viable polymer. 

The scientists have fabricated a guar gum-chitosan composite film which is a cross linked polysaccharide without using any plasticizer using a method called solution casting method. This method allows the polymer films to overcome the drawbacks of being a polysaccharide film and have properties such as high water stability, high mechanical strength, and excellent resistance to harsh environmental conditions. 

Biodegradable polymers are polymeric materials which are degradable in nature and breakdown into smaller molecules by the action of nature. Various biodegradable polymers include Polylactic Acid, Polyhydroxy Alkanoate etc. The total demand for biodegradable polymers in India stood at around 42 kilo tons and is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 8%. 

As per ChemAnalyst, “the development of a new biodegradable polymer by Indian scientists is an indication that the country is trying to move towards more sustainable packaging solutions. In this scenario the demand for biodegradable polymers is poised to rise at a healthy CAGR during the upcoming years.”

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