New Temperature-resistant PLA-based Plastic Food Bowls
Researchers at the Polymer Systems Center of Tomas Bata University in Zlín have developed plastic food bowls, which will decompose in a very short time and will not burden the environment.
The invention has yet another significant added value - plastic trays are resistant to high temperatures, which is not common in these types of polylactide products. This keeps its shape even if it is filled with boiling water or heated in a microwave. For example, they will serve as boxes for warm meals.
Using Polylactic Acid to Make Dishes
Scientists use polylactic acid, or polylactide, to make these dishes. This is mainly produced from agricultural by-products containing sugars. So, for example, from corn or sugar cane.
“Lactic acid is a relatively easily available raw material it is cheap and is obtained from waste agricultural products. The polymer made from it meets all standards and regulations for health and food use. In addition, it is biocompatible, environmentally friendly and saves on the consumption of non-renewable fossil resources, which means oil,” explains Petra Válková, a scientist at the Polymer Systems Center, who is working on the project.
The biomass produced in this way is then decomposed in technical compost in a matter of several months - their decomposition time is much shorter compared to petroleum-based polymers. The final product of their decomposition is carbon dioxide and water. They will not burden the environment.
Currently, researchers are completing testing the material properties of the dishes. Development will be completed by the end of this year it could appear in the market in coming two years.
“We are cooperating with Blatinie, as, which is engaged in crop and livestock production, and is investing in the development of environmentally friendly packaging. We have received almost two and a half million crowns from the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic,” explains Vladimír Sedla?ík, the principal investigator of the project.