What polymer do we supply ?
We supply polymers which disappear safely, that are non-toxic, marine-safe and soluble in warm or hot water. They allow users to maintain the primary functionality of their products whilst designing-in end-of-life.
In what form our polymers are being supplied ?
Our product comes in a pelletised form at all hydrolysis levels, including high hydrolysis to maximise application potential. They are available as standard plastic pellets so stability and storage is not an issue or in a roll form as per end user specifications.
What has our polymer been tested against ?
A full list of our testing is available in our white paper. Examples of some of the more pertinent tests and standards are listed below:
1. Determination of biobased content: CEN/TS 16137; ASTM D6866
2. Composability: EN 14995; EN13432; ASTM D6400; ISO 17088; AS4736; ISO18606; ASTM D6868
3. Anaerobic Digestion: ISO 15985; ASTM D5511
4. Soil: ISO 17556
5. Freshwater: ISO 13975; EN14987
6. Landfill: ASTM D 5526
7. Aerobic wastewater & sewage sludge: EN14851; EN14852
8. Anaerobic wastewater: EN14853
9. Marine: ASTM D6691; OK Marine; ISO 18830 (floating); ISO 19679 (sediment)
10. Recycling: ISO 15270 Guidelines for the recovery and recycling of plastics waste
11. Plastic waste: EN15347
What makes our polymer soluble ?
Our polymer is made from a range of different PVOH blends, formulated using proprietary process which can be designed to be soluble in water at controllable temperatures. The temperature at which our polymer dissolves in water can be varied by the type of PVOH used, the thickness and surface area of the product, the temperature, agitation and the amount of water present. Hot water soluble grades, are more robust at cold temperatures, but dissolve rapidly at temperatures above 70℃. The water solubility is an important feature for the end of life as it causes the product to soften and break-down in the environment. This can increase the speed at which the material will biodegrade into mineralised biomass, CO2 and water. Warm water soluble grades will break-down rapidly at temperatures above 20℃.
Why is solubility important?
The water solubility is an important feature for the end of life, as it causes the product to soften and break-down in the environment over time into mineralised biomass, CO2 and water.
Warm water soluble grades will break-down rapidly at temperatures above 40℃. These features of Hydropol™ make it a very useful material in its own right for certain applications, but would need to be combined with another more impervious material, if more resistance to water is required.
What is a hydrophilic polymer ?
Our polymers are hydrophilic. A hydrophilic polymer is attracted to water and in the right conditions (temperature, agitation etc.) will be dissolved in water. This property is important in enhancing biodegradation and other properties such as compatibility with other materials such as cellulose.
Our polymer is designed to replace traditional hydrophobic polymer from which nearly all other plastics are made – and are certainly the most used. Hydrophobic (water-hating) materials not only take hundreds-thousands of years to break down, but often produce toxic breakdown products as they do.
What are our polymers made from ?
They are made from PVOH. After 10 years of R&D, perfected a method of thermally processing PVOH allowing the production of pellets, which is the standard form for secondary processing in the plastics industry. Being based on PVOH a hydrophilic and water-soluble polymer, are inherently biodegradable, that is, given the right balance of environment and microbial presence it will biodegrade to carbon dioxide, water and mineralised natural biomass.
What is PVOH (Polyvinyl Alcohol) ?
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) is a water-soluble polymer, sold in both fully and partially hydrolyzed forms. Its technical properties vary depending on molecular weight (degree of polymerization) and fraction of acetate groups that are removed (degree of hydrolysis).
Why is our polymer different to traditional plastics ?
Our polymers are inherently biodegradable. When given the right balance of environment and microbial presence it will biodegrade to carbon dioxide, water and mineralised natural biomass.
As well as being multi-purpose, it has multiple end-of-life options because biodegradation is important whether it is controlled within the waste stream or in uncontrolled, environmental release.
There are two main areas where biodegradation is important, one where it is controlled within the waste stream, and secondly in cases of uncontrolled, environmental release.
Our polymers form microplastics ?
The term microplastics was defined in 2009 as, “plastic particles smaller than 5mm in size”.
When in solution our polymers cannot form microplastics. Depending on the environment, the polymer in solid form may break down to minute particles – but importantly it does so without the formation of toxins or the subsequent absorption of toxins associated with traditional plastics!
Unlike conventional plastics – whose long lasting hydrophobic micro-particles absorb and concentrate toxins – these small particles of our polymer will not persist in the environment, are non-toxic and marine-safe.
Can our polymers be recycled ?
Recyclability depends upon end application and whether it is mixed with other materials. For example:
Soluble in warm or hot water (40°C or >70°C)
Sortable with infrared signature
polymers recovered or left in pulp
Polymer dissolves > recycle other material
Traditional recyclable plastics – PE, PET
Compostables – cellulose, Polylactic acid
Polymer dissolves > recycle or compost other material
What does our polymer biodegrade into ?
It biodegrades into carbon dioxide, water and mineralised biomass.
What is mineralised biomass ?
In this case of polymer degradation, the term mineralisation indicates a natural biological breakdown step of the carbon in the polymer to carbon dioxide and water. So, via a process of oxidation the polymer breaks down via chain breaking to form smaller oxidised polymer chains (mineralised biomass) which then break down further to carbon dioxide and water. Hydropol™ does not yield any harmful products in any stage of breakdown and biodegradation.
Why is carbon dioxide produced during its disposal ?
CO2 is a natural bi-product of living organisms, hence it is produced when micro organisms breakdown our polymer.
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