What Are Oxo-degradable Additives?
Oxo-degradable additives are additives which are infused into polymers at a percentage of a formula, altering degradation curves in the process. However, they work in a two-step process. Oxidation caused by the additive, then, by biodegradation. Essentially it allows the polymer items to fragment and degrade with the help from light, heat, moisture, and mechanical stresses. They break the polymer chains down small enough so that bacteria and fungi can then safely breakdown these polymer chains back into the environment. However, they break down into CO2, water, and methane.
A Closer Look Into the Biodegradable Process
The decomposition starts when the plastic is first exposed to air and sunlight. Both the air and sunlight cause an oxidative chain scission that can be catalyzed with the presence of metallic salts in an oxo-degradable additive. Low volatile carboxylic acids (C3 – C24) are generated in the decomposition process of the film. These leftover low molecule compounds can then be consumed by microscopic bacteria and fungi. In turn, they naturally remove plastic from the environment into CO2, water,
The process of oxo-degradation takes some time. Plastics are first cut down through cleavage of macromolecules and then through consumption by microscopic bacteria once the molecular weight is below 10,000 or less.
Understanding the Benefits
Fortunately, the lifespan of the final product may be modified from as much as a few years to as little as a few months. This depends, however, on product specifications and the amount and brand of Gaia Oxo-degradable additive and the resin system.
Another benefit of the Gaia oxo-degradable additives is easy processing. Developers can also add to them conventional commodity plastics. In fact, little to no modifications are necessary to convert commodity plastics into oxo-degradable plastics. This is outside of possible temperature profile changes.
Did you know that your products can be infused with Gaia Oxo-degradables for possible reuse prior to the start of the degradation process? At the same time, they’re also compatible with the existing recycling infrastructure.
Before these additives experience degradation, the infused polymers have similar physical properties to untreated polymers. In fact, their physical performance is nearly indistinguishable.
With the infusion rates being between 1% and 4% according to product specifications and goals, Gaia Oxo-degradables have competitive pricing. Overall, this is a great benefit and much more cost-effective than other degradable technologies.
To explore more insight and information on these special additives, connect with Phoenix Plastics today. Simply call us toll-free at 1-866-760-2311.