Researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have created a new plastic with unique properties based on starch and cellulose. The work of scientists was published in the scientific publication Science of the Total Environment.
The most notable features of plastics are that they’re waterproof and can break down naturally. Some biodegradable alternatives differ from plastic recycling in that they don’t require the expensive industrial processes of other biodegradable plastics and generally enough exposure to high heat. The production of the material will be carried out using rollers.
The water-repellent plastic structure consists of microscopic wax-coated pillars that are similar to lotus leaves. The liquid that has fallen on the material will not be absorbed and, under the influence of gravity, will simply slide down.
To create the material, scientists initially developed a plastic made of starch and cellulose particles. Next, a pattern was applied to the surface of the plastic. It was similar to the structure of a lotus leaf. Finally, the experts covered the surface with a layer of silicon-based organic polymer. The development of the material in the future will help in the fight against the problems of plastic pollution.