BioSphere Biodegradable Additive Questions & Answers
Which polymers can Biosphere be added to?
Biosphere can be added to almost all commercially available polymers as the additive is a compound of active ingredients and does not have a carrier resin. There are special grades for PET sheet and blow moulding applications and a “general purpose” grade for all other materials.
What is the recommended addition rate for Biosphere?
The recommended addition rate is 1%. Higher addition rates, of up to 5%, can be used which will speed up the biodegradation. It should be noted that the effect is not linear ie at 2% the product will not biodegrade in half of the time of a product containing 1%.
In what form is Biosphere supplied?
The majority of Biosphere grades come in a pellet form which is added as any other masterbatch. For certain, specialist applications, there is a liquid version.
Is a polymer incorporating Biosphere considered biodegradable as opposed to degradable as there is a big difference?
Biodegradable is different to degradable.
Products incorporating 1% of BioSphere additive are Biodegradable.
How does Biosphere work?
We are often asked how does BioSphere make plastics biodegrade.
Biodegradation only takes place when the product containing the additive is exposed to naturally occurring microbial action.
In simple terms products containing BioSphere attract naturally occurring microbes in such as landfill. Biosphere allows enzymes secreted by these microbes to react with the polymer breaking down the polymer chain. This enables the microbes to easily digest the plastic material breaking it down into CO2 Methane and biomass. This is the same as with any other organic matter.
Biosphere has been designed to go into products which will go into landfill, but also works in compost or seawater situations.
For a more technical explanation see the BioSphere website: http://www.biosphereplastic.com/biodegradableplastic/what-is-biodegradation/
What effect does Biosphere have on the mechanical strength/ stability/ shelf life etc of products?
The in-use properties of products incorporating BioSphere are not affected.
This includes properties such as UV resistance, tensile strength, shelf life etc.
Biodegradation can/will only take place when the product comes into prolonged contact with the active microbes which naturally occur in such as landfill or marine environments.
Does Biosphere meet any standards for biodegradation?
BioSphere also complies with several recognised ASTM and ISO standards for biodegradation.
We can supply a certificate which outlines the standards products containing BioSphere meet.
Can Biosphere be used for manufacture of multi layer film?
BioSphere can be used in multilayer film. To biodegrade fully the additive would need to be added to each layer, including any tie-layers, at the recomended 1%.
Is Biosphere only for disposable items?
As biodegradation only takes place when the part comes into contact with active microbes in land-fill or a similar environment BioSphere can be used for items which are not single use.
An example of this type of product is as below.
Does adding Biosphere to a plastic part affect its ability to be recycled?
The short answer is NO. The additive does not affect the properties of the plastic except when it comes into long term contact with microbes in the soil. It can, therefore, go through normal recycling channels without any negative effects. This makes it different to the majority of other biodegradable products on the market.