Russia: Innovative polymer with rapidly decomposing rice hulls

Scientists from the Kuzbass Technical University have created a pine-shell polymer that decomposes after two years and is suitable for the production of disposable bags and tableware.

Says researcher Angelina Vitushkina in an interview with the Russian news agency TASS: “We used pine husk after crushing and mixing it with polyethylene, and then made samples from the mixture, tested them for the suitability of bags and wrappers from it. possessed the necessary properties – durability, for example. Then these samples were buried. It was in the soil for three months, and it turned out that it lost 10 percent of its mass. That is, after two years it completely decomposes, while the current bags need more than 100 years to decompose.”

And she explains, we got this result by adding only 10 percent of the processed pine husk to the total mass. Other biodegradable wastes have previously been experimentally used in the production of plastics, but they significantly degrade the properties of the pure polymer. Agricultural waste from forests seems to be more suitable.

“We plan to test these results at a nut processing plant that sells pure pine nut pulp and burns the husks to produce pure pine nut canning shells that retain their quality, aroma and flavor,” she says.

And he adds that the researchers are currently conducting new experiments involving increasing the proportion of pine husk flour to 40 percent, since the bags should decompose much faster in this case, while maintaining their required strength.

Source: TASS