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Biopolymers Essay

524 words - 3 pages

Name the biopolymer.Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) is a biodegradable plastic.Draw a structural diagram of the biopolymerThe three types of polyhydroxyalkanoates: poly 3- hydroxobutyrate (PHB), poly 3-hydroxobutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV), ), poly 3-hydroxobutyrate-co-4-hydroxyvalerate (PH3B).Name the specific enzyme used or organism to synthesis the material.Polyhydroxyalkanoate is synthesised by bacteria.Describe the process used to synthesise the material.They are produced by bacterial fermentation. To produce PHA a culture of microorganisms, such as Alcalingenes eutrophus, is placed in a suitable medium and fed appropriate nutrients so that it ...view middle of the document...

The bacterial species accumulate the intracellular Polyhydroxyalkanoate granules as energy and carbon reserves inside their cells. The organism is able to produce a quantity of PHB from 30% to 80% of its own dry weight. The organism is then harvested and the polymer is separated out.What properties does the biopolymer have?The properties of PHA are quite similar to polypropylene, these similarities are present in their physical and mechanical properties. PHA are thermoplastic, biodegradable, biocompatible and nontoxic. They vary in toughness and flexibility depending on their formulation. They are ductile. They are UV stable in contrast to other bioplastics. The strength and flexibility of the PHA improves with a high percentage of valerate in the material. PHA's are soluble in halogenated solvents. It has good resistance to moisture and aroma barrier properties.What is the biopolymer used for? Relate your answer to its properties.PHAs are immunologically inert and are only slowly degraded in human tissue, which means they can be used for medical applications such as implant materials.They can be used in ways similar to non-biodegradable petrochemical plastics. This includes the packaging and coating industry. It is mainly used for packaging and coatings in the form of bottles, bags and wrapping film. It biodegradability makes it good for packaging unlike other non-biodegradable plastics.Due to its aroma barrier properties and biodegradability and good resistance to moisture it is used for disposable nappies.

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