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Biodegradable Bioplastics: A Review of State-of-the-Art, Challenges, and Future Directions
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  • Swarn Jha,
  • Vansh Amin,
  • Bhargav Akula,
  • Megan Novak,
  • Hong Liang
Swarn Jha
Texas A&M University System
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Vansh Amin
Texas A&M University System
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Bhargav Akula
Texas A&M University System
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Megan Novak
Texas A&M University System
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Hong Liang
Texas A&M University System

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

Biodegradable bioplastics which are derived from a variety of organic precursors, such as starch and cellulose, show promise in replacing conventional petrochemical plastics. With the alarming increase in microplastics pollution, biodegradable bioplastics have gained attention as a potential alternative to traditional plastic use. These plastics have been evaluated for practicality, cost, and production capabilities as limiting factors in commercialization. For decades, research and development has been conducted on materials such as polylactic acid PLA, PHB/PHA, PBS, and other starch or cellulose-based polymeric plastics. Despite the effort, there exists a lack of clear direction as to what materials would work best and stimulate interest in the future production of those. Concepts and theory have raised concerns for a safer alternative as a status quo. There is a need for a comprehensive review about factors of techno-commerciality, policy, degradation behavior, and chemical decomposition in recent developments. This manuscript intends to assist not only researchers, but also policy makers in consideration of future funding and policies. This review provides a history and overview of bioplastic technology, which devolves into a discussion of modern-day materials of interest and molecular degradation methods.