Biodegradable Polymers Definition:
Biodegradable polymers are polymers that can be broken down into natural products by enzymes produced by microorganisms present in the soil.
Biodegradable Polymers Explained:
A biodegradable polymer hence is one which can be broken down to natural by-products, such as gasses (CO2, N2), biomass, water and inorganic salts. Such polymers occur naturally and can also be made synthetically. The key feature is that biodegradable polymers contain esters and amides, which are easily decomposed (hydrolyzed) under aerobic or anaerobic conditions by the action of microorganism/enzymes
Examples include a class of compounds called polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), which are polymers of b-hydroxycarboxylic acids.
Another Example –
- Poly β-hydroxybutyrate – co-β-hydroxy valerate (PHBV):- Is a polyhydroxyalkanoate(PHA) type polymer. It is derived by combining 3-hydroxy butanoic acid and pentanoic acid, in which monomers are cross-linked by an ester linkage. It decomposes to form carbon dioxide and water. It is brittle in nature, and it can be used in the production of drugs and manufacturing of bottles.