Polyhydroxybutyrate is known to degrade under enzymatic conditions in the environment but it has limited scope as a polymer. It is a crystalline material but it has been shown in a previous BRITE-EURAM programme that the properties of such polymers may be modified by blending with other materials and that a wide range of useful blends could be obtained provided such blends incorporated a third component, a biodegradable plasticiser. The range of such plasticiser is limited and it is the intention of this programme of work to extend the modifiers already available and to combine activity of the materials to be produced with the photosensitizers that are known to cause biodegradation of polymers such as polyethene. Blending of polyhydroxybutyrate with other polymers and modifiers will produce a range of materials that will be classified according to both the physical properties and biological activity of the products. It is therefore the intention also to produce a predictivity profile that will allow the end-user to define more closely the material that best satisfies his needs. Such information will be made available on a CD-ROM system for innovative materials which it is seen will find applications mainly in the packaging and biomedical areas.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards
82152 Planegg / Krailling