Friday, January 11, 2013

No. 679: Creating a heat-resistant plastic using euglena (January 10, 2013)

NEC, AIST, and University of Miyazaki jointly developed a heat-resistant plastic using the component of euglena as the main raw material. It has a higher degree of heat resistance than bio plastic made of polylactate. The research team created this plastic by adding fat element extracted from peanut husks to the polysaccharide produced by euglena. It does not become squishy even at such a high temperature as 120 degrees centigrade. It is more than two times stronger to heat than polylactate and nylon 11. It can be processed as easily as the existing bio plastics and standard plastics.

Euglena is about 50 micrometers long and 10 micrometers wide. It proliferates eating glucose. At the same time, it can be increased through photosynthesis using sunlight and carbon dioxide. Because it can be cultured using safe effluent from food plants, energy necessary for the production of plastics can be reduced. The research team plans to increase the strength to put it into practical use at an early date.    

    Heat-resistant plastics using the component 
of euglena as the main raw material

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