ready to commit?
Start your journey with us today. Our full list of contact details can be found on our contact page.
BFA accelerates the biodegradation of treated plastics in microbe-rich environments. Plastics treated with BF have unlimited shelf life and are completely non-toxic. We discovered an organic compound within crude oil that is burned out during the cracking process that is synthesized with nutrients and then grafted onto to the plastic polymer chain. Adding BFA to a petroleum based resin attracts microbes to the product allowing them to control their PH level and become quorum sensing and colonize on the surface of the plastic. Once the microbes have colonized on the plastic they secrete acids that break down the polymer chain. Microbes utilize the carbon backbone of the polymer chain as an energy source. The difference between BFA treated plastic and traditional plastic is that BFA creates an opportunity for microbes to utilize plastic as food.
Using the BFA in the manufacturing process is easy to do and does not require equipment modification. The BFA is added via a standard commercial gravimetric hopper just as you would add a colorant into the extruder feedthroat. Ours products are usually loaded at 0.5%-2% by weight.
There are no noticeable changes to the physical characteristics of plastic such as tensile strength, glass temperature, melting temp, transition rates, etc. Some of these values are identified in the TDS (Technical Data Sheet). We encourage customers to test the performance of BFA combined with specific materials.
No. Tensile strength and the physical properties are maintained even in elevated temperatures. Temperatures that exceed the normal operating range for each specific resin would experience the same loss of properties as the standard plastic.
No, BFA products do not have a limited shelf life.
BFA treated products must be disposed of or kept in active microbial environments in order to biodegrade. Most warehouse and retail environments do not contain the microbes needed for biodegradation.
Always make sure to seal unused portions of the BFA due to its slightly hygroscopic nature. It is also a good idea to rotate the lot every six months to ensure good quality control. Do not run the additive at over 600F as this has not been tested and the results cannot be guaranteed.
BFA are not toxic and is safe for use in food-contact applications. BFA has been independently tested for toxicity and has been certified as FDA compliant.
Keller and Heckman, an internationally recognized law firm that specializes in regulatory affairs. Keller and Heckman has analyzed BFA and has determined that it is safe for use in food contact applications. K&H has issued letters validating the safety of BFA when in contact with food.
BFA do not contain any compounds that would be considered heavy metals, light metals or metal ions. BFA are a combination of true organic compounds coming from oil and other nutrients found in the environment.
No. All of the organic compounds contained in BFA are considered safe for food contact and have no known adverse health effects. The compounds are also not found on the toxic and potentially harmful substance list of CA Prop 65. This California legislation identifies certain toxic and potentially harmful substances and describes limitations for their use.
CA Prop 65 is legislation within the state of California that identifies certain toxic and potentially harmful substances and provides limitations for their use. No compounds within the BFA are listed in Prop 65. Read more – https://oehha.ca.gov/proposition-65/general-info/proposition-65-plain-language
No, BFA are an additive composed of organic compounds that attract microbes when placed into microbe-rich environments. There are no enzymes or microbes within the BFA.
The BFA can be used with virtually any petroleum-based resin.
Yes, however it is recommended to implement quality control to ensure the approved amount of material is being loaded into the resin.
Currently there are no recognized standard certification programs for recyclability. We have provided a number of independent laboratories with samples of plastic made with BFA. These samples were then subjected to various testing methods to determine if BF treated products are suitable for recycling. These tests indicated that BFA do not affect the recyclability of treated products.
The following tests have been performed on PET bottles treated with BFA to verify recyclability. These are standard tests used to determine the quality of PET plastic regrind. These tests are suggested as part of the American Postconsumer Recycling Critical Guidance document.
ASTM D 5511 tests are currently being performed that show significant rates of biodegradation of BF treated materials. Please contact Biodegradable Future to review our biodegradation test results.
The ASTM D6400 is a standard specification that is used to evaluate the results obtained from ASTM D5338 compostability testing. The ASTM D5511 is a test method that evaluates the biodegradability of plastic in anaerobic, or oxygen-less, conditions. The ASTM D6400 standard is not used to evaluate data obtained from D5511 testing.
Plastics made with BFA are biodegradable in both aerobic and anaerobic environments. The customary disposal method of plastic bottles being either recycled or landfill we feel the most applicable test methods would be for anaerobic (landfill) environments. We therefore test BFA products under the scrutiny of the ASTM D 5511 which is a standard test method for determining anaerobic biodegradation of plastic materials under high-solids anaerobic digestion conditions.
Plastics made with BFA are biodegradable in both aerobic and anaerobic environments. The customary disposal method for plastic is landfilling, not composting, so BF engineered BFA to perform best in anaerobic environments. BFA are not designed to biodegrade plastics in the timeframe required for professional composting facilities, and so probably does not meet the D6400 standard.
BFA products will biodegrade in any active microbial environment, including lakes, oceans and streams. Our testing confirms that BF treated products biodegrade in both aerobic and anaerobic environments. Marine testing has been conducted on BF treated textile products, results showing biodegradation.
Biodegradation of BFA products will occur anywhere there is an active microbial environment. Sitting on the dirt next to the road will subject the bottle to an active microbial environment; however the entire bottle will not be subjected to the microbial environment simultaneously and will result in a much longer biodegradation period. Plastic litter also has an unfortunate habit of blowing in the wind and floating on water, which might serve to disrupt some microbe colonies during the biodegradation process, which might then slow the process down.
Over 75% of plastic bottles and over 94% of all plastics in general end up in landfills. BF- treated plastic that ends up in a landfill will fully biodegrade over a period of time. Landfill environments are anaerobic in nature and produce methane gas as a by-product of anaerobic fermentation taking place deep within. Methane can be harvested from landfills and is a source for clean, inexpensive energy. The Clean Air Act requires all landfills to reclaim methane and other Green House Gasses (GHG) and either burn it or use it to produce energy. Read more – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Air_Act Methane from landfills is an inexpensive form of “green” energy that is readily available at landfill sites around the globe. Read more – http://www.methanetomarkets.org Plastic Degradation Technology Questions
Oxo-degradable additives introduce metallic salts into traditional polymers, making them susceptible to rapid degradation when in the presence of sunlight and oxygen. This process breaks the polymer chains into small pieces, causing the waste plastic to disintegrate in the environment.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a polymer derived from starchy plants such as corn. To make PLA, corn kernels are milled and dextrose is extracted and fermented, producing lactic acid as a by-product. This lactic acid is then refined and used to produce raw PLA pellets. PLA is presumed to be biodegradable, although the role of hydrolysis vs. enzymatic depolymerization in this process remains open to debate. Composting conditions capable of degrading PLA are found only in industrial composting facilities where high temperature (above 140F), high relative humidity (RH), and a 2/3 mixture of organic food based materials can be controlled in order to supply the necessary nutrients that promote chain hydrolysis. This is required to break down the polymer structure before microbial activity can break down the remaining material.
Polyhydroxyalkanoates, or PHAs, are linear polyesters produced in nature by bacterial fermentation of sugar or lipids. More than 150 monomers can be combined within this family of polymers to produce materials with differ- ent, useful properties. These plastics are biodegradable and are used in the production of bioplastics. They can be either thermoplastic or elastomeric materials, with melting points ranging from 40 to 180 °C. The mechanical and biocompatibility of PHA can be changed by blend- ing, modifying the surface, or combining PHA with other polymers, enzymes and inorganic materials, making a wide range of applications possible. Read more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyhydroxyalkanoates
For a truly biodegradable and commercially viable product BF is the best technology on the market. It is a proven, versatile technology that has many advantages over competing technologies.
Biodegradation is a process by which complex molecules are changed into simple molecules through the actions of microorganisms.
Microbes, or microorganisms, are the smallest organisms on the planet and require the use of a microscope to see them. There are a huge variety of organisms that can be classified as “microbes.” They can live alone or in colonies. They can help you or they can hurt you. These creatures make up the largest number of living organisms on the planet. There are trillions and trillions of microbes on the Earth. Microbes include bacteria, fungi, some algae, and protozoa. A microorganism can be heterotrophic or autotrophic. These two terms mean they either eat other things (hetero) or make food for themselves (auto). Think about it this way: plants are autotrophic and animals are heterotrophic. A protozoan like an amoeba might spend its whole life alone, cruising through the water. Others, like fungi, work together in colonies to survive.
Aerobic biodegradation is the breakdown of organic matter by microorganism in the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic biodegradation is the breakdown of organic matter by microorganism when oxygen is not present.
It is a combination of both aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen). Microbes found in both environments will be attracted to the plastic with BFA and will colonize on the plastic which will result in complete biodegradation.
No, there is much confusion surrounding the term “biodegradation.” Different organizations that support different types of biodegradable plastics do represent composting as the only form of biodegradation. ASTM defines biodegradable plastic as “a degradable plastic in which the degradation results from the action of naturally-occurring micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, and algae.” These types of organisms exist in composting environments, but also exist in different environments, as well. “Composting” is not the definitive process of biodegradation.
A landfill is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial and is a traditional form of waste treatment. Landfilling is common around the globe. There are two basic landfill operations for handling waste disposal: dry tomb and bioreactor. A “dry tomb” sanitary landfill involves burying waste and attempting to maintain dry conditions in order to minimize biodegradation, as well as leachate and biogas production. This landfill design is commonly used in developed nations. In a bioreactor landfill, controlled quantities of liquid are added and circulated throughout waste in order to accelerate the natural biodegradation of buried waste. Bioreactor landfills are present at several test locations and may replace current landfill designs. Read more – http://www.epa.gov/landfill/
A bioreactor landfill operates to rapidly degrade organic waste. The increase in waste degradation and stabilization is accomplished through the addition of liquid and air to enhance microbial processes. A bioreactor landfill has the capability to produce significant amounts of methane gas, which can be used for clean energy production. The Advantages of Bioreactor Landfills:
Currently, approximately 85% of all plastics produced in the U.S. end up in landfills. This plastic waste builds up in landfills, taking hundreds of years to biodegrade. It makes environmental sense to put an additive into existing plas- tic resins which will not impact the physical properties of that plastic, if recycled will have no negative impact on the recycling stream, and if landfilled will naturally biodegrade creating methane which can then be used as a source for clean, inexpensive energy.
Landfills and compost piles are considered to be active microbial environments.
There are three types of microbial environments: suspended, dormant, and active. Plastics treated with BFA require an active microbial environment in order to biodegrade. In environments such as warehouses, offices, and retail locations the microbial environment is suspended or dormant and does not provide the circumstances needed for biodegradation to occur. An active microbial environment is one that contains active fungal and bacterial colonies and would be extremely dirty in either aerobic or anaerobic conditions. This allows the microbes to colonize on the plastic and begin to digest the polymer.
Biomass is essentially organic matter similar to soil or dirt. It is made up of nutrients and the remains of bacterial colonies.
The specific microbes for consuming plastics have taken years for BF to identify and are considered confidential information within BF.
Yes, microbes are very similar to other organisms in that they move to areas where food and other necessities are available or plentiful. Microbes that find their way onto traditional plastic might begin to consume it, but would more likely disdain it in favor of easier food. We believe that un-treated plastic might take hundred of years to be completely digested by microbes.
Microbes use quorum sensing to coordinate certain behaviors based on the local density of the bacterial population. Microbes that use quorum sensing constantly produce and secrete certain signaling molecules (called autoinducers or pheromones). These microbes have a receptor that can specifically detect the signaling molecule (inducer). When the inducer binds the receptor, it activates transcription of certain genes, including those for inducer synthesis. As the microbial population grows the concentration of the inducer passes a threshold, causing more inducer to be synthesized. This forms a positive feedback loop, and the receptor becomes fully activated. Activation of the receptor induces the up regulation of other specific genes, causing all of the cells to begin transcription at approximately the same time. This coordinated behavior of microbial cells can be useful in a variety of situations such as multiplying. Read more – http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quorum_sensing
Tests have been completed to show that biodegradation is occurring on the entire polymer chain versus just consuming the BFA present in the treated plastic. ASTM testing has consistently shown biodegradation of treated materials far in excess of the amount of BFA being used.
Products treated with BFA biodegrade as a result of microbial digestion. The process of microbial digestion can take place in either aerobic (with oxygen) or anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions. These conditions determine what by- products are produced. In aerobic microbial environments the by-products will be carbon dioxide, water, and humus. Humus is the degraded organic material in soil, which causes some soil layers to be dark brown or black. In soil science, humus refers to any organic matter that has reached a point of stability, where it will break down no further. For anaerobic microbial environments the by-products will be carbon dioxide, methane, and humus.
Biodegradation is a natural process that is essential in maintaining our planet’s ecosystem and nutrient cycles. We at Biodegradable Future believe that we as humans should strive to keep our world clean and not leave today’s waste for future generations to deal with. The waste gasses produced through the process of plastic biodegradation are manageable and even economically useful.
No, the microbes utilize the carbon backbone of the polymer chain. Microbes use the carbon for energy and leave nothing of the polymer behind when the process of digestion is complete.
Start your journey with us today. Our full list of contact details can be found on our contact page.
* Biodegradation rates of Bio Future's additives -treated plastic materials measured according to the ASTM D5511 test method. Tests are generally conducted using 20% to 30% solids content; solids content in naturally wetter landfills range from 55% to 65%, while the driest landfills may reach 93%. Actual biodegradation rates will vary in biologically-active landfills according to the type of plastic used, the product configuration, and the solid content, temperature and moisture levels of the landfill.