Science Project Proposal
Taylor’s University, No. 1, Jalan Taylor’s,
47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor D. E., Malaysia
TITLE OF PROPOSED RESEARCH
C INTRODUCTION (Max 3000 words)
What to do with biodegradable plastics when they become waste
Both biodegradable plastics and compostable plastics will break down naturally, but it need a long time for that to happen. Before that happen, they are no different from the other pollutant, it is a threat to all the living things and pollute the environment. It requires high temperature for it to decompose, therefore it takes much longer time to decay naturally. Under the conditions of industrial process, the biodegradable plastics will decompose much faster, this is why we shouldn’t simply dispose the plastics.
Advantages of degradable plastics and starch-based plastics
Degradable plastics Starch-based plastics
They are light and have strong physical properties They do not cause pollution to the environment
Can act as an insulator in many appliances They are made from renewable resources, so precious resources are not used.
They are malleable and can be hammered to different shape
It requires lesser energy to be produced
Disadvantages of degradable plastics and starch-based plastics
Degradable plastics Starch-based plastics
They are made from non-renewable resources thus making them not environmental friendly They don’t last long and will decay very quickly
They release toxic chemicals when they are burned which will affect our health They show weaker physical properties compared to degradable plastics
They are often mistaken for food by animals. The plastics does not decompose and get trapped in the animal’s stomach Starch-based plastics are made from plants, with already increasing demand of food supply, plastics production from plant can creates competition for food sources
Extraction of starch from potato tubers
A couple of steps have to be followed before the extraction of the starch from the potato tubers.
In order to get the initial mass of the potato tuber, the chosen potato was first weighed. A total weight of roughly one kilogram of potato tubers were used for the extraction.
Remove the impurities by washing the potato with water. The washing process has to be done properly in order to avoid any contamination in the final product.
Peel the washed potato using a knife. Care must be taken to avoid unnecessary peeling of the potato cells which can lead to loss of starch.
Add 100 cm^3 distilled water and place the potato into the mortar and use the pestle to grind the potato carefully.
Leave the potato behind by pouring the newly formed liquid into the beaker and let it settle in the beaker for 5 minutes. Remove the water from the beaker so only the starch sediment remains in the bottom of the beaker. Add 100cm^3 water to the starch sediment and stir it. Wait for 5 minutes for the starch to sediment and remove the water again, this is done to ensure only pure starch remains.
Production of starch based bioplastic
Add 25cm^3 water into the beaker and add 2.5g potato starch, along with 3cm^3 of 0.1M hydrochloric acid and 2cm^3 of glycerol and stir it with a glass rod.
Place the beaker on the tripod and heat it using the Bunsen burner and boil it gently for 15 minutes.
Turn the Bunsen burner off after 15 minutes and leave it to cool.
Dip the glass rod into the mixture and apply it onto the universal indicator to measure the pH. Add sodium hydroxide to neutralise the mixture and test it with universal indicator again.
Pour the mixture from the beaker into the petri dish and spread the mixture evenly.
Leave the petri dish for it to dry.
Flow Chart of Activities
Making plastic from potato starch. (n.d.). Retrieved from HYPERLINK "http://rsc.org/learn-chemistry/resource/res00001741/making-plastic-from-potato-starch" http://rsc.org/learn-chemistry/resource/res00001741/making-plastic-from-potato-starch
Sprajcare, M., Horvat, P., Krzan,A. (2012). Biopolymers and Bioplastics. HYPERLINK "https://www.umsicht.fraunhofer.de/content/dam/umsicht/de/dokumente/nationale-infostelle-nachhaltige-kunststoffe/biopolymers-bioplastics-brochure-for-teachers.pdf" https://www.umsicht.fraunhofer.de/content/dam/umsicht/de/dokumente/nationale-infostelle-nachhaltige-kunststoffe/biopolymers-bioplastics-brochure-for-teachers.pdf
Soomaree, Keshav. (2016). Production of potato starch based bioplastic. HYPERLINK "https://www.researchgate.net/publication/306263110_Production_of_potato_starch_based_bioplastic" https://www.researchgate.net/publication/306263110_Production_of_potato_starch_based_bioplastic