With over 80% of organic carbon being present in the form of cellulose, lignin and starch it is unsurprising that numerous groups have attempted to use these as feedstock chemicals and materials. Extensive hydrogen bonding between carbohydrate polymer chains, however, makes the plasticisation of starch and the dissolution of cellulose difficult. This talk shows that the incorporation of a simple quaternary ammonium salt can lead to a flexible plastic with mechanical properties similar to oil derived plastics. Compression moulding produces a transparent material with mechanical strength which is similar to some polyolefin plastics. It is shown that the material can be extruded and/or compression moulded and these processes improve further the mechanical strength of the samples. Most importantly it is shown that these plastics are recyclable and ultimately compostable.
Medium density fibreboard (MDF) is a ubiquitous product formed from wood flour and a formaldehyde-based resin. The use of the latter component causes some health and environmental concerns and its use is restricted. This talk shows that thermoplastic starch can be used in place of the thermoset resin to produce materials of similar mechanical strength but with clear environmental benefits. All of the components are compostable and the resin being a thermoplastic allows the potential for remoulding and recycling which has clear environmental impact benefits.
Venue and Contact
Department of Chemistry
University College London
20 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AJ
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The lecture will be preceded by tea/coffee in the Nyholm room and followed by a Mixer in the Nyholm Room.
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Tel: 0207 598 1594
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Professor Andrew Abbot
University of Leicester