sjmonte, thanks for the (extremely long!) post, but it's completely unreadable because of the lack of spacing. It looks like you are copying and pasting directly from your website instead of from some kind of text document. Perhaps, instead of copying and pasting, you can provide links for us to check out.
@Salvatore: Your comment is almost unreadable due to the lack of spaces between any of the words. If you click on "Edit/Delete," you can fix this.
However, being a curious mind, I took a look at your website. It's interesting to know that you were working on this already in the late 1980s, and that there has been an ASTM standard for anaerobic biodegradation of plastics in landfills since 1994. Apparently this is not such a new topic.
My question for you is the same as my question for all of the other additive manufacturers - what happens if plastics with your additive make their way into the recycling stream? Will they degrade the properties of recycled plastics?
Given that environmentally-conscious consumers (the same ones who are likely to pay extra for a biodegradable product) have been trained to reduce/reuse/recycle, re-training them to not recycle could be difficult.
I have never seen a study verifying that an ordinary oxodegradable product such as a shopping bag will biodegrade given its normal treatment - taken to the landfill in the trash, where it will be covered in more trash within a day or two, if not immediately. Based on the published science, I agree with the DEPRA report, which found that they will not biodegrade in landfills. This DEPRA report was the reason why COOP and Tesco, the largest grocery chains in Great Britain, stopped using oxodegradable additives in their bags. As far as methane goes, it's being tapped and used in place of ordinary natural gas. In fact, much of the methane generated in landfills is eaten by microbes in the landfills. See http://earthnurture.com/LandfillCondTD.html to learn more.
Enso is not a manufactuer of additives, it is a dealer specializing in an additive for biodegrading PET. They represent Bio-Tec, which makes the additive. My additives are in the same general class, but they are a more thorough, more recent technology.
Hydrobiodegradable plastics are a plastic type, and the best known example is PLA. Oxodegradable additives are additives mixed with polyolefinic plastics, to act as a catalyst to chemically degrade them. The reason some moisture is required is to sustain the lives of the microorganisms. It has been said that the most germ-fee place in the average home is the toilet seat, because it is so dry. My additives work with all of the typical commodity plastics - PP, PE, HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, PS, EPS, PET. I have designed one additive that will render PLA biodegradable in landfills. PLAs most prominent manufacturer says it is not biodegradable in landfills. See http://earthnurture.com for full details.
Tim, this sounds very interesting. I believe that hydrobiodegradable and oxobiodegradable are terms describing the two basic classes of plastics, not of additives. Does your additive work for one of these classes? The additives described in the research mentioned in this article work anaerobically in moist and/or wet environments, e.g., landfills and bodies of water. That implies that your additive works with hydrobiodegradable plastics. Is that correct?
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.