TOMSK, Sep 4 – RIA Tomsk. Chemists of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) are developing a reactor for the continuous synthesis of monomers – the feedstock for the production of biodegradable plastics; the new technology will significantly reduce the cost of the process, the press service of the university said on Wednesday.
It is noted that the synthesis of monomers (small
molecules, the chains of which make up the polymer) – is the most expensive
stage in the production of plastics. Currently, in chemical enterprises, the
synthesis of polymers occurs in stages, in several reactors. The development of
TPU allows to close the entire process in one reactor due to the fact that all
reactions take place when the reagents are in a gaseous rather than a liquid state.
"TPU chemists are developing a technology and a
reactor for the continuous synthesis of monomers, the feedstock for
biodegradable plastics. This will be the first continuous high-capacity
synthesis reactor in the world suitable for use in industry and allowing to
produce high-quality raw materials", – is said in the report.
Implants and utensils
It is explained that polytechnics synthesize monomers
of polylactic and polyglycolic acids in the reactor, which makes it possible to
obtain biodegradable plastic, which is used to create implants and other
medical devices, as it is eventually dissolves in the body and is replaced by
© РИА Томск. Павел Стефанский
Earlier it was reported that TPU scientists plan to
create prototypes of implants for the face and skull based on biodegradable
polymers. Using these implants, doctors will be able to operate on severe
injuries to the face and head and restore bone tissue to a cancer patient. The
research was supported by the "Medicine of the Future" technology
platform, and the Moscow "Conmet" company became the industrial
partner of TPU.
In addition to medical applications, biodegradable
plastics based on polylactic and polyglycolic acids are the main competitor of
polystyrene and polypropylene for the manufacture of packaging and disposable
tableware, is said in the report.
"Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University are
confident that the emergence in Russia of a simple and cheaper technology for
monomers producing will allow to create in the country its own sustainable
market for biodegradable plastics. It is also important to create cheaper,
compared to imported, bioresorbable implants and other medical products", –
is emphasized in the message.
According to the developers referred to
by the press service, if there is interest from Russian manufacturers, it is
possible to create a pilot industrial production of biodegradable plastic based
on a continuous TPU reactor already as early as 2022.