Eliminates Need for Expensive Ingredient, Glycolide, in Producing PGA
This biorenewable polymer and copolymer are a lower-cost, effective alternative for use in dissolvable stitches, medical implants and plastic packaging. Polyglycolic acid (PGA), a biodegradable, thermoplastic polymer, is primarily used to make, pins, rods, plates and screws that the body absorbs as it heals. Biorenewable polymers fabricated from readily available plant materials could soon replace commodity plastics derived from petrochemicals, and could dominate the thermoplastics market. According to BCC Research, global demand for biodegradable polymers will reach nearly 3 billion pounds by 2019, with a compound annual growth rate of 10.4 percent. The high cost associated with glycolide, an essential starting component, has slowed the adoption of PGA as a high-volume commodity plastic. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a PGA variant produced without the need for glycolide. The resulting polymer possesses all the characteristics that make standard PGA desirable but can be fabricated at lower cost. Additionally, the researchers can control the polymer melting temperature by inclusion of an added co-monomer to produce new compositions.
ApplicationCost-effective composition of PGA, a biorenewable polymer used in plastic packaging and dissolvable stitches
- Eliminates the need for glycolide, reducing production costs
- Uses readily available C1 starting materials, potentially creating a sustainable and ecofriendly alternative to petroplastics
- Reduces the number of manufacturing steps, simplifying production
- Available in range of colors and melting temperatures, enhancing versatility
- Capitalizes on growing demand for biodegradable polymers, minimizing financial risks