Please read the below article for more information on raw material of PSM starch based cutlery
This is an excerpt of an article which has been published by:
PSM (HK) Company Limited, the company which owns the PSM patents
Wuhan Huali Environment Protection Science & Technology Co. Ltd is the manufacturing plant which produces the PSM raw material for PSM HK.
For further information about PSM material or the Company please visit their website www.psm-hk.com
WHAT IS PSM?
Application of plastic materials in daily life is regarded as a great invention in the last century, but is causing pollutions around the world and consumes our natural resources. Thus, an environmental friendly substitute is always regarded as a “dream product” entering the new Millennium era. Wuhan Huali had adopted its unique technology to produce a fully biodegradable and renewable material called Plastarch Material (“PSM”), which is a revolutionary ecological material; is a combination of “plastic functional characteristics and starch biodegradable advantages”; and can be used for a large variety of manufacturing processes such as film blowing, injection moulding, sheet extrusion, thermoforming and foaming. PSM has become part of the substitution products on plastic in which it has a very competitive price and excellent product performance in terms of durable and totally degradable under compost conditions and by incineration as well.
PSM is a polymer that is derived from the natural source of corn starch. Corn starch is a kind of polysaccharide polymer which consists of glucoses. It has two separate forms of linear and branched molecules, named as amylose and amylopectin respectively. During the modification process, corn starch is mixed with cellulose and enzymes in a large stirrer where condensation and polymerization happen to modify the starch properties. Enzyme addition and crosslink technique transforms the molecular structure of starch which has three distinguishable properties:
Change from hydrophile to hydrophobe
Change from heat sensitivity to high temperature resistance
Change from brittleness to plasticity
This modification process of corn starch creates PSM crystals. The crystals will be fed into a twin-screw extruder where starch plasticization happens continuously. The repeated kneading of the plasticized starch increases the rigidity of PSM. Some percentage of water moisture is removed in the extruder. At the end of the extrusion, PSM grains are produced.
Because the majority of PSM are composed of natural ingredients, it will decompose in a condition where warm temperature, high moisture and bacteria are present. Below is a chronological chart of PSM film which disintegrates in a compost environment. PSM film breaks down into smaller pieces and degrades into the compost completely after 6 weeks.
PSM MATERIAL CHARACTERISTICS
Corn starch, a renewable resource, is the major raw material of PSM where the supply is abundant and the cost is low and stable in China.
A unique and revolutionary ecological material that is fully and completely degraded into harmless substances such as water and carbon dioxide.
A genuine environmental-friendly product from manufacturing to post-use disposal. No wastewater, effluent gas or waste residual discharged throughout the manufacturing process.
It can be used for a variety of manufacturing processes such as film blowing, injection, extrusion and foaming to product different products. Traditional plastic manufacturing machine is good enough to product PSM ranges of products.
Excellent product performance properties with water-proof, oil-proof, high melting point and can be used in microwave, which is superior to those similar products in the domestic market.
It can be degraded under compost conditions and be incineration as well. Only non-tonic smoke and residue is left after burning, of which can be used as fertilizer.
PSM can be offered at a very competitive price compared with products with similar degradability and functionality from foreign producers.
PSM complies with the international environmental-friendly requirements of ISO14851 (related to biodegradable and compostability), US FDA regulation 176.170 and EU EN 71-3:1994/A1:2000, North America ASTM.D 6866 (Biobased Content of Natural Range Materials). It also meets the degradability criteria of GB 18006.1 – 1999 issued by State Administration from Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine. And many other regulatory.
In order to provide a clear guideline to utilize various PSM® grades, hereunder Wuhan Huali declares the proper use of PSM® as follows:
PSM® is the official registered logo of Wuhan Huali Environmental Protection Science and Technology Co. Ltd
Classification of PSM® Grades
Wuhan Huali has 2 major divisions of PSM® raw materials.
Biodegradable Material (Model HL-300 series)
PSM® biodegradable material is a combination of natural high polymers and high polymerization polyester, which are totally biodegradable. Based on the plasticization process using a patented formulation, PSM® is made to be a fully compostable without presence of any non-biodegradable components. PSM® can be processed in common machinery of film blowing, sheet extrusion and injection moulding. PSM® can replace the original petrochemical to make one-off non-durable products. During the production, non-biodegradable chemicals such as polypropylene cannot be added.
The HL-300 series meets with the international standard of compostability requirements. Tested by OWS in Belgium, PSM® is fully compliant to the European EN13432 norm (Packaging – Requirements for Packaging Recoverable through Composting and Biodegradation – Test Scheme and Evaluation Criteria for the Final Acceptance of Packaging)and to the US ASTM.D 6400 standards (Standard specification for Compostable Plastics). As a result, PSM® has received the European certifications such as OK Compost and DIN CERTCO as well as the BPI credential in the United States.
Biobased or Starch-based Materials (Model HL-100 series)
PSM® biobased material is composed of natural high polymer and is processed under high heat to become a starch-based plasticized material. It could be blended with a small quantity of polypropylene to meet the end-product functionality and the market requirement in various regions. The prime advantage of using this material is to reduce energy consumption. Firstly, PSM® can reduce the usage of petrochemical resources when its primary ingredients come from starch and cellulose. Secondly, 0.5 tons of CO2 is emitted out of every ton of PSM® burnt compared with 3.13 tons emitted from each ton of plastic burnt. A difference of 2.6 tons lesser of carbon dioxide is generated at PSM® disposal in which PSM® is a significant reducer in the greenhouse effect.
The HL-100 series is targeted at markets which focus on renewable resource and competitive pricing. It is one of the best alternatives to plastic replacement. PSM® conducts several analyses on carbon content, CO2 emission, SGS heavy metal as well as FDA Safety under the worldwide accredited testing programs. PSM® also received the Chinese Environmental Labelling Product issued by SEPA as well as the GreenPLA program of the Japanese Biodegradable Plastics Association. At the same time, the HL-101 series has obtained the EN Biobased certificate in December 2009. http://www.okbiobased.be
Plastic, which is produced from petrochemical, is the most widely used material on earth, but it will fully pollute the world in next few centuries. Petroleum resources are finite and the oil supply is limited. Therefore it becomes important for human to find plastic substitutes, especially in packaging and disposable applications. Furthermore, plastic is durable and most non-degradable. It has evident that the ecosystem is considerably disturbed and damaged as a result of the high disposable of plastics all over the world.
Market Trend of Biodegradable Plastics
Strong Year-to-Year Growth
Being a revolutionary new material features with a replacement of conventional plastics, a substantial growth (20-30% by 2010) is expected where innovative manufacturing practices, market innovation and distinctive product features that are likely to create demand in the next decade.
Cost Reduction Follows Volume Growth
The increasing overall production size within the industry will also bring to economic advantages such as price reduction and enhance the competitiveness with conventional plastics.
Enormous market size of end-product use made from biodegradable plastics
It is estimated that, in the 2012’s, end-products made from biodegradable plastics will reach 10% of all those made from conventional plastics (230 million tons). The market size for biodegradable plastics is enormous which plays a role as a replacement of conventional plastics.
Packaging material is the most popular application
Due to the short-life span of usage in regards of packaging material; it creates a considerable issue on its disposal. Biodegradable polymer for packaging continues to receive more attention than those designated for any other applications, which have a substantial market potential. (Estimated at demand of 40 billion dollars in 2010)