Mexico, Aug. 10 (Notimex).- Students from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN, for its acronym in Spanish) developed a bioplastic based on mango peel with properties similar to conventional PET, which in the future could be used to create bottles, cutlery, plates and disposable cups.
The objective of the students of the Center for Scientific and Technological Studies (CECyT, for its acronym in Spanish) 6 "Miguel Othón de Mendizábal" was to rescue organic waste to make a biodegradable material with a life time of six months, which is flexible and can be reused as fertilizer or compost, the IPN said in a statement.
Karla Guadalupe Gámez Rangel and Mario Isaac Hernández Hernández, from the career of Chemical Laboratory Technician, used carbohydrates, proteins, cellulose, mango rind, corn starch and glycerin to create a biopolymer.
Glycerin acts as a plasticizing agent, while "corn starch increases the volume of the free bonds of amylase and amylopectin, which provides flexibility and hardness to the bioplastic," explained Gámez Rangel.
To obtain the material, the polytechnics only collected mango peel of any kind, crush it and mix it with cornstarch and glycerin to obtain a viscous substance that is molded as required.