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This process improves blends of starch-based plastic with conventional polyolefins

By Scott Jenkins |

Thermoplastic starch, a biodegradable polysaccharide, is an attractive material for environmentally friendly plastics, but its cost and molecular properties have prevented it from being used in thin films. A process for a new starch plastic resin allows the material to be blended with conventional plastics to produce high-quality, high-strength plastic films. BioLogiQ (Idaho Falls, Idaho; www.biologiq.com) has introduced NuPlastiq, a biodegradable plastic resin produced from waste starch at potato-cutting facilities (for French fries and potato chips). When blended with conventional polyethylene resins, NuPlastiq allows thinner films with the same strength. Starch is made of amylose, a linear polysaccharide molecule, and amylopectin, which has a highly branched structure that limits its ability to form strong films. BioLogiQ has developed a proprietary process that creates a smaller particle size in the starch powder and removes the material’s affinity for moisture. The modified starch powder is then made into a thermoplastic resin. The BioLogiQ process overcomes the problems created by the branched amylopectin structure, and allows the resulting resin to form strong films. “To make blends traditionally, starch powder would…
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