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Creating bioplastic from blood

15 Jul, 2010

A new generation of plastics is being created using biowastes. In this programme, the production of plastics from waste blood is investigated.

Duration: 11:24

80,000 tonnes of waste animal blood is produced per year in places like meat processing plants. This waste can now be made into a bioplastic as a result of research carried out at Waikato University by a team led by Johan Verbeek.

In this process, bloodmeal has environmentally friendly products added to make thermoplastic (the type of plastic used to make milk bottles). Thermoplastics are usually made with petrochemical compounds so this new process is more sustainable. Bloodmeal has previously been added to compost in order to balance the carbon and nitrogen levels. Adding thermoplastics made using Potato plates bloodmeal may also do this job as they are biodegradable, losing 50% of their mass in 3 months.

Dairy cows contribute hugely to the New Zealand economy with their milk and meat. This is a novel way that even their wastes can make a valuable ecofriendly contribution.

Programme details: Our Changing World


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