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OXO Biodegradable
The mechanism of polyethylene biodegradation known as Oxo-Biodegrdation involved in two stages: these are
Abiotic (photo or thermo) oxidation
Microbial biodegradation.
Initial abiotic oxidation is an important stage as it determines the rate of entire process. In this stage polyethylene is oxidized leading to reduction of its molecular weight significantly. Also hydroxyl (-OH), carbonyl (C=O) and carboxylic (-COOH) groups are introduced into polyethylene chain leading to further oxidation of polyethylene.
The main factors that influence abiotic oxidation are heat and sunlight. They are crucial for both reduction of molecular weight and the production of low molecular weight compounds that can be assimilated easily by the microorganisms.
EnerPlastics OBD additives are introduced to plastics films at manufacturing stage; the additives are dosed at very low level which ensures that the commercial product (film) would have a guaranteed mechanical strength and other properties for a minimum period (usually 12months) after manufacturing.
The organometallic constituents should act as a catalyst to oxidizing the polymer molecule to a state when it is no longer a polymer molecule but has been converted to a molecule that is common to the food intake of soil microbes, fungi, bacteria etc.
The metal part of the organometallic component should not be toxic to soil or food contact.
The approach on testing material on degradability
Standard and Tests
Testing is a critical aspect of supporting an oxo-biodegradable product. EnerPlastics has a state of the art testing laboratory which is capable of performing oxobiodegradable testing and determines the suitability of a formulation for given applications. EnerPlastics has several weathering chambers, FTIR, XRF and tensile to conduct testing.
Plastics: Assessment of oxobiodegradablity of polyolefinic materials in form of films- methodology and requirements.
In order to predict long term fate of polymeric material dispersed in environment, it is necessary to establish accelerated laboratory conditions. Studies of polyolefinic time course mechanisms have demonstrated that phenomena governing evolution in a natural environment are photothermal oxidations (under combined effect of light and heat) and thermooxidations. The progress of these oxidations is determined through accumulation of carboxylic acid groups that can be detected using FTIR spectrophotometer. The increase in absorbance at 1714cm-1 which determines the relative acid group contents can be expressed based on thickness of films.
Thermoxoidation ( to guarantees minimum one year life time in storage and use in indoor conditions)
Photooxidation ( which guarantees that film accidentally scattered into environment should be fragmented after approximately 3-5 months of exposure to sunlight)
Thermooxidation of previously photo-oxidized films (that guarantees that films abiotically degraded after 3 months exposure to sunlight and acquired biodegradability in soil within 2-3 years)
ASTM 6954 Standard Guide for Exposing and Testing Plastics that Degrade in the Environment by a Combination of Oxidation and Biodegradation.
This describes the methodology of testing. In this standard oxobiodegradablity is described in three tiers:
Tier1: Abiotic degradation to simulate environmental exposure to light and heat. The molecular weight is determined and it should be less than 5000dalton and there should be less than 5% gel.
Tier2: Biometric measurement of fragments
Tier 3: Eco-toxicity testing
Standard and specification of oxo-biodegradation of plastic bags and other disposable plastic objects
Abiotic degradation test shall be performed and degradation shall be evaluated by measuring by loss in mechanical properties, decrease in molecular weight and determination of gel content.
After abiotic degradation average molecular weight should be less than 5000 dalton, gel fraction less than 5% and elongation at break ≤ 5% of original value..
BS STANDARD 8472:2011
Methods for the assessment of the oxo-biodegradation of plastics and of the phyto- toxicity of the residues in controlled laboratory conditions
The standard describes methods for determining
a) Degradation by oxidation (abiotic tests)
b) Biodegradation (biotic test in soil) and
c) Phyto-toxicity (plant growth tests) of plastics materials and products.
EnerPlastics OBD can be used for all applications in which conventional polyolefin's are suitable. EnerPlastics OBD offer a great deal of control and predictability than others. Along with other color and additive masterbatches available from EnerPlastics makes this an excellent one stop shop.
Shelf life
The shelf life and service life of degradable plastic using EPOBD can be customized based on customer requirements ranging from a few months to years depending on the type and amount of OBD has been added to the plastic resin.

Processed in existing facilities with existing equipment and near identical processing parameters to conventional plastics

EnerPlastics OBD additives meet the requirements of all OBD standards existing in the market and have certificate from accredited organizations.

Free from heavy metals
All EnerPlastics OBD additives are free from heavy metals like cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead, arsenic.

Food approved
Degradable additives made by EnerPlastics are non toxic and safe for food contact applications.

Degradable and Biodegradable
Scientific studies show that EnerPlastics OBD additives are degradable and biodegradable