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Biodegradables

Samyang develops biodegradable plastic made of corn

It has also developed a compound to make plastics stronger and more durable

By Jul 06, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Samyang's biodegradable plastic
Samyang's biodegradable plastic

South Korea’s Samyang Corp. has developed a biodegradable plastic made of corn amid tighter environmental regulations and a global corporate initiative away from traditional plastics.

The company said on Tuesday that it has developed an eco-friendly plastic for the first time in Korea using starch-based isosorbide, a base material for various kinds of biodegradable derivatives.

The plastic barely produces carbon and other greenhouse gases compared to petrochemical plastics, and at the same time is tough enough to make thin disposable plastic bags and agricultural film, it said.

Samsung said it has also developed a plastic compound used to make thin plastics stronger and more durable.

ISOSORBIDE PLANT UNDER CONSTRUCTION

In 2014, Samyang developed a technique for commercial isosorbide production. The starch-based chemical compound is a biomaterial capable of replacing bisphenol A (BPA) as the main polycarbonate ingredient.

The company is currently building an isosorbide plant at its affiliate Samyang Innochem Corp. with an annual production capacity of 10,000 tons. The construction of the factory is set to be completed by the end of this year.

Samyang develops biodegradable plastic made of corn

In April this year, Samsung has been named by the government as the company tasked with developing biodegradable polycarbonate (PC) for use in automobile components.

Korean companies have been ramping up efforts to develop bioplastics.

In 2012, Lotte Chemical Corp. was the country’s first company to successfully develop bioplastic by using vegetable materials, including sugar cane.

LG Chem Ltd. said last year it has developed the world's first 100% biodegradable material to replace plastic.

Hanwha Solutions Corp. said earlier this year that it has entered into an agreement with the Korea Institute of Energy Research to jointly develop bioplastics.

Write to Jae-Kwang Ahn at ahnjk@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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