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History of BioPlastic
History of BioPlastic

 

  History of Bio plastic

 

In 1997, an international treaty, ‘Kyoto Protocol’ was signed to prevent global warming and to fulfill the UNFCCC (United Nations Frame work Convention on Climate Change).
Kyoto Protocol : Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The ‘Kyoto Protocol’ was introduced to UNFCCC in December 1997 and took effect in February 16th 2005. 38 countries including Australia, Canada, USA, Japan, and EU must reduce average of 5.2% of their greenhouse gas emission until the year 2012. South Korea ratified this protocol in 2002. Since South Korea is classified as a developing country, there is yet no legal responsibility to carry out the Kyoto Protocol treaty. However as a member-country of the OECD, South Korea and Mexico are both getting the pressure to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases.

As the treaty will be focused on the developing countries by 2017, South Korea will be asked to participate in the Kyoto Protocol in the upcoming convention to expand the number of countries to join the Kyoto Protocol. According to the research done by the IEA, in 2002, South Korea was the 9th Carbon Dioxide emitting country (1.8% of the world’s Carbon Dioxide emission) with 434 million tons. Furthermore, as the amount of CO₂emission increased to 85.4% since 1990 and recorded the highest amount increment in the world, it is highly likely for South Korea to be up on the top of the list.

The USA takes up 28% of the world’s CO₂ emission, however, withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in March 2001, to protect the nation’s industry.

The 6 materials to reduce are - CO₂(Carbon Dioxide), CH₄(Methane), N₂O(Nitrous Oxide), PFC (Perfluorocarbon), HFC (Hydrofluorocarbon), SF6 (Sulfur Hexafluoride), all classified as greenhouse gases.

 
  Characteristics of Biochemical industry

 

The typical change of biochemical industry around the world is:

 

(1) 1) New consumer trend based on the aging society and change in family composition.
(2) 2) Environmental issues, especially the weather change by global warming.
(3) 3) The shortened lifecycle of products
(4) 4) The long last development possibility and the strengthened regulations to support.

 

The bio material is an eco-friendly material mostly coming from biomass. The plastic made with biomass is called a bio-plastic, and has the characteristics of

1) Biodegradable and
2) Reduce the amount of CO₂emission (10~100 compared to petrochemicals)
Because of these characteristics, bio-plastic business has made the green industry one of the key industries of today.

As a next generation industry, biochemical industry is considered to have unlimited potential. As classified as the cutting-edge technology, bio technology is used in various fields and is classified as Red, Green, and White. Among the three colours, the most attracting industry is the White bio industry.

Currently, South Korea’s main biochemical industry is Red bio. Red bio has the largest market demand hence takes up 90% of the domestic market.

Red bio, named after the blood colour, represents the field of medicine such as developing new medicine, diagnostic regent, stem cell research, and organ transfers.
Green bio, just like the name, represents primary food source such as farming, woods, and organisms. Genetically modified farm products like modified beans and sweet corns also fall in this category.

The White bio technology is focused on using enzymes and microorganisms which are eco-friendly. Unlike the petroleum and coal, this technology does not emit toxic substances while drawing out clean energy from the organisms or producing food, fuel, clothes and plastics.

White bio technology is mainly focused on daily based needs using environmental friendly materials. This is why bio technology became the most promising market code and its products are expected to have $ 160 billion of market value in 2010 with 10~30% increase every year.

 

  Research & Development of Bio plastic

 

The environmental problems, depletion and rise in the demand of fuel energy, and climate change conventions are making the chemical industry lose its competence in the market. As a result the change to use biochemical products are rising and is replacing the chemical industry rapidly.

The flaws of biodegradable plastics are:


1) Physical characteristics and processability like solidity, and the coefficient of expansion
2) Replacing original products and application expansion delay
3) High price compared to plastics
4) Hard to recycle

 

Recently to overcome this weakness processability, heat-resisting, impact resisting products are being released. Also by including part degradable plastics into normal plastics, the products have become more processability, impact-resisting, and economic.

According to a related business, biomass plastic products like 옥수수 프린터, 옥수수 휴대폰, are now appearing in the market. Unlike PVC, plastics, polystyrene and other chemical plastics which take hundreds of years to decompose, biomass plastics need only 1~2 years making it the representative environmental friendly material. Therefore, if we solve the price and solidity problems, bio plastic is expected to rise as the future spotlight material.

 

 

 

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