Thermal processing for plant-based plastics lower cost and improve properties

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In Nebraska, a new production process using thermal processing is improving biodegradable plastics by making them more heat resistant and moisture resistant. Bioplastic from corn are heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit then slowly cooled, which also eliminates the need for solvents and other expensive ways of processing plant-based plastics for commercial use. The new method is expected to make it possible to produce biodegradable plastic that is comparable in heat and moisture resistance to fossil fuel derived plastics. It also is less expensive while taking care of the two biggest flaws with bio-based plastics. Researchers are now working on how to scale up the new production process.