Biodegradable polymers decompose in natural aerobic (composting) and anaerobic (landfill) environments. Biodegradation of these polymers can be achieved by enabling microorganisms in the environment to metabolize the molecular structure of the product to produce safe and clean byproducts. Biodegradable polymers have experienced strong growth over the last three years and are set to make further inroads into markets traditionally dominated by conventional thermoplastics in future.
Biodegradable Polymers is a course that investigates four main classes of biodegradable polymers:
The course will review biodegradation mechanism, measurement techniques and global standards, polymerization, structure, and polymer properties. Students will study special requirements of processing techniques, sterilization and storage of biodegradable polymers, and a review of markets, applications, and outlook.
After completing Biodegradable Polymers, students will be equipped with a basic understanding of the following:
Measurement of biodegradability
Monomers obtained from agro-resourced polymers (i.e PLA, PEG)
Biomass-derived polymers (i.e starch, cellulose based)
Synthetic biodegradable polymers (i.e. PCL, PEA, PBSA)
Microbial production-based polymers (i.e. PHA, PHB, PHBV)
Processing, sterilization and storage of biodegradable polymers
Markets & Applications
Outlook for the future
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