Eggshells for bioplastic packaging

eggshell bioplastic

Scientists who presented their work at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) held 13-17 March in San Diego, California reported that mixing tiny bits of eggshell to bioplastic could create a stronger and more flexible biodegradable packaging material. Leading the research team, Vijaya K. Rangari, Ph.D, , said that the nano-sized eggshell particles strengthen the material and make them about 700% more flexible compared to known bioplastic blends.

Rangari and his colleagues at the Tuskegee University experimented with various plastic polymers. Eventually, they latched onto a mixture of 70% polybutyrate adipate terephthalate (PBAT), a petroleum polymer that degrades as soon as three months when put in the soil, and 30% polylactic acid (PLA), a polymer derived from cornstarch. Adding in eggshells that are washed, ground up in polypropylene glycol and then exposed to ultrasonic waves that broke the shell fragments down into nanoparticles more than 350,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

The team is also looking at using the eggshell nanoparticles to enhance wound healing, bone regeneration and drug delivery.


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