Professor Ivan Cabeza, University La Sabana, Bogotà, Colombia
Summary: In recent years, the interest in the synthesis of materials able to replace the conventional polymers but with high biodegradation rates and low toxicity has grown. Polyhydroxialkanoates (PHAs) are thermoplastic polyesters synthetized by a large group of bacteria under stress conditions (limitation of nutrients), to store energy as intracellular fat deposit; they are biodegradable and non-toxic, and some of them have interesting mechanical properties that allow them to be used in the packaging industry. Poly (3- hydroxibutyrate) or P3HB is a linear homochiral, and crystalline biopolymer that belongs to a group of short chain PHAs. However, it’s necessary to improve some of its weakest characteristics like the high brittleness, the production cost and the narrow processing window. These improvements can be achieved using different extraction, purification and modification technics that result in materials with different physicochemical characteristics and production costs.
Seminar M2P2 --> Thursday December 8, at 10am, meeting room of Arbois