Biodegradable Thermoplastic from Lignin: a Waste Product from Pulp Mills and Bioethanol Manufacturing


Background: The biodegradable thermoplastic can be utilized in most commercial plastics applications including biodegradable cups packaging and bags. Lignin is a complex chemical compound found in the secondary cell walls of plants and is a waste product of many industrial processes that utilize plant material. Pulp mill operations for example create excess amounts of lignin (called kraft lignin) that must be disposed. Technology Description: Biodegradable thermoplastic has been produced from a lignin derivative that has properties similar to polystyrene. This renewable plastic is created using the excess lignin generated from pulp mill operations bioethanol production and chemical and pharmaceutical production from plant material. It is also a renewable and biodegradable alternative to polystyrene a material which is derived from petroleum and is not biodegradable. Applications: 1) biodegradable cups 2) packaging 3) bags Patent Status: US 6172204 B1


1) Renewable 2) Biodegradable alternative to polystyrene

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