Biopolymers are a special class of polymers found in nature like starch, peptides or proteins. The biopolymers are natural, environment-friendly as well as sustainable. The physical properties of polymers vary as per their different compositions and it’s various types. There are various classifications of biopolymers as follows:
Classification of Biopolymers
- Cellulose Based Polymers: The cellulose based polymers are composed of glucose and is the primary constituent of cellular plant walls. It is obtained from natural resources like wood, wheat, cotton and corn.
Starch Based Polymers: The starch manufactures in India are natural polymers as starch is natural and is made from maize, wheat, tapioca and potatoes etc. In the form of carbohydrates, these materials are stored. Materials stored.
- Sugar Based Polymers: The Polyhdroxibutyrate main input is starch or sucrose. These polymers are produced by injection, blowing, vacuum forming etc.
- Biopolymers Based on Synthetic Polymers: Obtained from the synthetic components which are completely bio-degradable and compostable.
Environmental Benefits of Biopolymer
There are many environmental benefits of these polymers which are as follows:
- These polymers can always be renewed and the starch manufacturers make the polymers which are easily biodegradable and it also decreases the air pollution.
- These polymers also reduce the harmful effect of plastic use on the environment as well as the long term use of polymer reduces the limit of use of fossil fuels.
- The biopolymers also reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and it also reduces the carbon emissions.
- There are fewer chances of environmental pollution as these materials are compostable.
- These chemical compounds also reduce the dependency on non-renewable fossil fuels.
Uses of Biopolymers
- The sugar based polymers like polylactide naturally degenerates in the human body without any harmful side effects, therefore they are used for medical purposes. The polylactide is also commonly used for medical purposes.
- The use of biopolymers prevents global warming.
- Use of biopolymers has wide applications in nanotechnology and nanoscience.
Classification of Biopolymers
- On the basis of Degradability of Biopolymers
*Biodegradable & Non-Biodegradable
- On the basis of Polymer Backbone
- Depending on the nature of repeated units
*Polysaccharides: Polysaccharides main components are sugars such as cellulose found in plants.
*Nucleic Acids- Nucleic acids are made up of genetic materials called nucleotides.
*Proteins- Proteins main components are amino acids such as myoglobin which is found in muscles tissues, globulin etc.
- Based on Application
Applications of Biopolymers
An example of an edible biopolymer is GUM ARABIC (GA) which has a wide range of applications in various fields as follows:
- Pharmaceuticals Industries
- Dairy Products
- Baking & Confectionary
- Anti-microbial application
- Industrial uses –
As we all know by seeing the above applications of biopolymers that they are highly beneficial for all of us.