While some plastics are biodegradable when thrown away, the glue that binds these or other pieces of material together is not very environmentally friendly,media New Atlas reported. But scientists have recently begun to address the problem by developing a biodegradable adhesive.
The substance, created by a team at Boston University, has the same consistency as honey. It is a mixture of naturally sourced biopolymers and its main component, carbon dioxide. By changing the polymer to carbon dioxide ratio, the bondstrength can be adjusted.
It is also possible to adjust the adhesion of the material on different types of surfaces, some of which may reportedly include metals, glass, wood and Teflon. Adhesives can also adhere to wet surfaces and are biocompatible. This means that it can be imagined as surgical glue in the body and can replace the bandages that bring closed external wounds.
Whatever the end use, the adhesive should be decomposed harmlessly in the environment within no more than one year after disposal. As an added benefit, it can take full advantage of industrial CARBON dioxide emissions.
“We tend to think of carbon as a polluting gas in the atmosphere, and there may be too much carbon. Researcher Mark Grinstaff says his team developed the adhesive. But the exciting thing is that the material can reuse carbon dioxide, which would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, and that refineries and production plants could reuse the gas for environmentally friendly polymers. Therefore, this is a win-win for the environment and consumers. Because carbon dioxide is a cheap raw material, it has the potential to lower commodity prices. “
The study was presented in a paper published this week in the journal Nature Communications.