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The "green" successor of traditional plasticizer: biological plasticizer

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-02-07      Origin: Site

Plasticizer, also known as plasticizer, is a polymer material additive widely used in industrial production. Plasticizer can improve the performance of polymer material, enhance its flexibility, facilitate bending molding products, improve production efficiency, reduce costs. As an additive of chemical products, plasticizer is widely used in the production of plastic products, concrete, gypsum, cosmetics and medical instruments, especially in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products. In order to improve the strength of materials and increase the plasticity of materials, phthalate esters need to be added.

With the wide use of plasticizer in PVC products, the health risks brought by this also gradually surfaced. During long-term use, some plasticizer molecules escape from the PVC product into the environment. Phthalates are a kind of environmental hormone, whose effect is similar to that of artificial hormones. Excessive intake of phthalates in human body will cause immunity decline, harm male reproductive ability and promote female precocity. Long-term and large intake of phthalates will lead to liver cancer, and the potential harm to infants is much higher than that of adults.

Biological - based plasticizer advantages gradually appear

At present, had developed on the world and produced 1000 kinds of plasticizer, the breed that already applied on industry achieves more than 100 kinds. With the continuous progress of technology and the upgrading of industrial structure, in recent years, plasticizer presents a non-toxic, green development trend. Among them, bio-based plasticizers, which are extracted from biological resources and have biodegradability and excellent plasticizing properties, are regarded as the important development direction of plasticizers.

Bio-based plasticizer has wide sources, simple synthesis method, high stability, recyclable reuse, and non-toxic to human body, no pollution to the environment, from the point of view of economy, environmental protection, health and so on, bio-based plasticizer has more and more obvious competitive advantages, is an ideal product to replace the traditional phthalic plasticizer.

Especially this year, with the recovery of crude oil price, the cost of petroleum-based plasticizer rises with the price of crude oil, and the cost advantage of bio-based plasticizer gradually appears.

At present, bio-based plasticizer products have been commercialized including epoxidation soybean oil, citrate, epoxidation flaxseed oil and fatty acid salt, etc. Epoxidation soybean oil is the most commonly used bio-based plasticizer in the food packaging market.

Global bio-based plasticizer industry develops rapidly, some developed countries bio-based plasticizer output has accounted for more than 15% of all plasticizers. Global sales of bio-based plasticizers are expected to reach us $1.657 billion by 2024.

China is the world's largest plasticizer production and consumer. Qianzhan Industry Research Institute issued "China's plastic additives industry in-depth research and investment strategy planning analysis report" pointed out that in 2020, China's plastic additives products will be non-toxic, green direction development. Plastic additives that do not meet the requirements of health and environmental protection will be phased out, such as certain plasticizers containing lead, halogen and other harmful substances.

Professor Weng Yunxuan, dean of the School of Materials and Mechanical Engineering of Beijing Technology and Business University, told science and Technology Daily that bio-based plasticizers belong to bio-based materials, which are processed and produced by using renewable biomass resources, and their strategic position in China is increasingly apparent. Therefore, the development of bio-based plasticizer is an important direction of plasticizer industry in the future.

To increase production capacity, we also need to strengthen technology research and development

In recent years, scientific and technological innovations have been made in the research and production of bio-based plasticizers in China. For example, professor Guo Kai of The School of Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering of Nanjing University of Technology presided over the project of "Continuous green manufacturing of non-toxic plasticizers and their derivatives based on micro-flow field reaction technology", which won the second prize of national Scientific and Technological Invention.

Guo Kai told reporters that the large-scale engineering application of microflow field reaction technology is a common problem in the world. As the traditional microchannel reaction scale is at the 100-micron level, once the scale is expanded, the microflow field effect of complex organic chemical reaction system will be lost. "The traditional microchannel reactor with a scale of 100 microns can only produce 100 kg to ton plasticizer per year, which is difficult to meet the production and market demand. "Our results have been able to maintain microflow effects at centimeter scale, and centimeter diameter reactors can produce tons of plasticizer per year." He said.

That is to say, through technological innovation, biological non-toxic plasticizer capacity increased nearly ten thousand times. "Citric acid ester and other products produced by our cooperative manufacturers have passed the certification of domestic and foreign authorities such as China, the United States and the European Union, and solved the problems of low reaction quality and production safety of bio-based plasticizers." Said Fang Zheng, a professor at the School of Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering at Nanjing University of Technology.

In general, there are many small and micro enterprises in China's plasticizer industry, and the technical level is low. To enhance the capacity of bio-based plasticizer, it is necessary to increase technological innovation. Zhu Wenwei, chairman of China Plastics Processing Industry Association, stressed that with the promotion of environmental protection policies and standards, only the enterprises with sufficient technical reserves and strong research and development ability can seize the development opportunities of bio-based plasticizer industry.

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