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AN INVESTIGATION OF THE PARAMETERS INVOLVED IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL ULTIMATE DEGRADATION OF PLASTICS.

Objective

The purpose of the proposed project is to establish the interrelationship between polymer oxidation, due to both heat and light and biodegradation by defining the parameters involved scientifically.
With increasing public concern about the effects of plastics on the environment, a variety of new polyolefin basedpackaging polymers have appeared on the market which are claimed to be photodegradable, biodegradable or both. Industry is, at present, unable to distinguish between the merits of such products because of the complexity of the relationship between biodegradation and other forms of environmental degradation.

The purpose of the project is to establish the interrelationship between polymer oxidation, due to both heat and light, and biodegradation by defining the parameters involved scientifically. This involves the study of the bioassimilation of the commercial films as manufactured and the change in their behaviour towards microorganisms with time of thermal oxidation and photooxidation. Studies will include the identification and continuous assessment of oxygen functional groups during oxidation and on exposure of oxidised polymer films to selected microorganisms. Changes in physical and mechanical behaviour of the materials will simultaneously be followed in order to establish the basis for international standard test methods.
With increasing public concern about the effects of plastics on the environment, a variety of new polyolefin-based packaging polymers have appeared on the market which are claimed to be photodegradable, biodegradable or both. Industry is at present unable to distinguish between the merits of such products because of the complexity of the relationship between biodegradation and other forms of environmental degradation.

The project will involve the study of the bioassimulation of the commercial films as manufactured and the change in their behaviour towards microorganisms with time of thermal and photo/oxidation. Studies will include the identification and continuous assessment of oxygen functional groups during oxidation and on exposure of oxidised polymers films to selected microorganisms. Changes in physical and mechanical behaviour of the materials will simultaneously be followed in order to establish the basis for international standard test methods.

Coordinator

Université de Clermont-Ferrand II (Université Blaise Pascal)
Address
34 Avenue Carnot
63000 Clermont-ferrand
France