back to top
My wish lists
Save your wish list
If you want to add more content to your wish list, simply log in. If you do not have a user account, please register for the Hanser Customer Center.

» Do you already have a user account? Please log in here.
» Don't have a user account yet? Please register here.
Your wish lists
If you want to use your wish list during your next visit, simply log in. If you do not have a user account, please register for the Hanser Customer Center.
» Do you already have a user account? Please log in here.
» Don't have a user account yet? Please register here.

« Back

Your advantages at a glance

  • One login for all Hanser portals
  • Individual home page for faster access to preferred content
  • Exclusive access to selected content
  • Personal wish lists on all portals
  • Central management of your personal information and newsletter subscriptions

Register now
Deutsch
Bookmark Bookmarked
08-24-2017

Microcapsules of Biodegradable Plastics

Increased Awareness of Microplastic Downsides

The technology of micro-encapsulation is widely spread when it comes to controlled release of active substances in specific applications: For example, pharmaceutical substances are micro-encapsulated so that they can act upon selective parts of the body in a targeted way. Similarly, micro-encapsulation can significantly reduce the environmental effect of pesticides. Moreover, micro-encapsulated phase change materials are used in functional clothes as well as building materials, to maintain a feel-good temperature. In addition, many more applications exist.

However, there is another side to the coin, and that is the fact that microcapsules release plastic particles into the environment. These “microplastics” cause some problems there. The micro plastic residues are not only produced by the microcapsules themselves. They also result from secondary factors, for example interaction between the microplastic and UV radiation, or microbiological degradation.

Example of micro encapsulation application: Starch-based amylose cachet to protect probiotic bacteria (© Fraunhofer IAP)

Example of micro encapsulation application: Starch-based amylose cachet to protect probiotic bacteria (© Fraunhofer IAP)

Notwithstanding this, according to the "Technologieplattform Mikroverkapselung" (TPM, technology platform micro-encapsulation), a consortium of companies and organizations initiated by the Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Polymer Research IAP and Chemical Technology ICT, new materials need to be developed to reduce the share of microplastics in the environment. The focus is on biodegradable materials.

Contradiction between Function and Biodegradability

The aim of reducing the amount of microplastics in the environment by means of biodegradable materials, though, is by no means trivial, in the case of micro-encapsulations. This is because, in many applications, the microcapsules’ functionalities conflict with the requirements of fast biological degradation. However, the Technology Platform says the industry is optimistic that there will be a good chance, for many applications, to enhance the small process window covering both requirements, in the coming years.

Company profile

Fraunhofer Inst.f. angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

Geiselbergstraße 69
DE 14476 Potsdam-Golm

Fraunhofer-Institut für Chemische Technologie ICT

Joseph-von-Fraunhofer-Str. 7
DE 76327 Pfinztal
Tel.: 0721 4640-0
Fax: 0721 4640-111

Newsletter

Would you like to subscribe to our Newsletters on plastics technology and profit from the latest information?

Subscribe here

Subscribe here