Essay on Chemical Chemicals And Its Effects On Modern Society

945 Words Sep 2nd, 2016 4 Pages
Polylactic Acid

Plastics have played a major role in shaping modern society, ultimately improving the quality of life. Making up most things man-made, plastics surround us every day. They possess unique characteristics; plastics can be tough and rigid yet still flexible and can be opaque yet transparent. The building blocks of plastics are small organic molecules often known as monomers, which then join to other monomers creating long molecule chains called polymers in a process called polymerisation (Nobelprize.org, 2016). Bioplastics are expected to become the future of synthetic material, because of the simple fact that they are biodegradable, causes minimal harm to the environment and is derived from a sustainable source. The difference between bioplastics and regular plastics is that bioplastics are produced from biological substances like; corn, starch, and sugarcane, rather than petroleum, meaning the bioplastics should never struggle to be produced whereas regular plastics will one day become very rare (Hitachi.com, 2016). The most popular bioplastic in today’s society is polylactic acid (PLA) and for good reasons: It comes from corn, a renewable resource, does not contain toxins, can be easily composted, it is much cheaper than regular plastic and produces 68% less greenhouse gas emissions than conventional plastic (Bionomicfuel.com, 2016). Polylactic acid is produced by the condensation polymerisation of lactic acid, derived from fermentation of sugars. Since…

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