About this book
Concise introduction to the use of biodegradable plastics in an age when fossil fuels are becoming depleted. Also explores the benefits of using `green plastics' with relation to the environment and to rural areas that could supply the raw materials.
Preface vii Acknowledgments ix PART ONE PLASTICS Chapter 1: The Age of Plastics The New Kids on the Block, How Do We Use All That Plastic? 3 Chapter 2: Plastics as Materials Materials Science, Composites and Laminates, The Distinction of Plastics as a Material, Materials and the Ecosystem 10 Chapter 3: Plastics and the Environment Raw Materials, Plastics Waste, Managing Plastics Waste, Environment Friendly Plastics? 15 Chapter 4: The Chemical Nature of Plastics Polymers, Plastics, Additives, Common Thermoplastics, Common Thermosets, Biodegradable Synthetics, Fibers and Elastomers 31 Chapter 5: Plastics Degradation Plastics after Use-An Introduction, Thermodynamics and Kinetics, Biodegradation-Nature's Recycling, Degradation of Plastics, Tests and Standards 52 PART TWO BIOPLASTICS Chapter 6: Biopolymers Nature's Polymers, Carbohydrates, Lignin, Proteins, Polyesters, Synthetic "Biopolymers," Nature's Fibers, Nature's Composites 83 Chapter 7: The Reemergence of Bioplastics What Are Bioplastics? Early Bioplastics, The New Bioplastics 104 Chapter 8: Factors Affecting Growth Biomass Raw Materials, Benign Technology, Biodegradable Products, Properties, Cost 135 Chapter 9: Prospects for the Future Raw Materials, Markets, Technological Advances, Environmental Concern, The Role of Government, The Role of the Private Sector, Paradigm Shift 145 Appendix Make Your Own Preparation of Cast-Film Bioplastics, Supplies, Equipment, Procedure, Formulations, Varying the Recipes, "1-2-3 Plastic," Other Possibilities, Standard Tests, Designing Science Projects 165 Notes 187 Glossary 207 Reading List 221 Author/Name Index 223 Subject Index 231
Eugene Stevens is Professor of Chemistry at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He has conducted research on biopolymers for more than thirty years and has published more than one hundred papers dealing with the conformational behavior of biomolecules, a topic he has explored through chiroptic methods.