FRANKFURT – Avgol has been working with Polymateria, a spin-out from Imperial College London, which has pioneered the ‘biotransformation’ process which has the potential to enable the most commonly-polluted plastic items to be safely returned to nature.
Using this new process, a nonwoven fabric can be modified to react to certain triggers to then begin a cascade process to enable the fundamental chemical transformation of its polymer resins into a wax that is readily degraded by natural bacteria, microbes and fungi normally found in the environment.
“The transformation is triggered through the combined effects of the natural elements of decay – air, moisture, heat and sunlight,” explained Avgol’s vice-president of nonwovens marketing Nick Carter, demonstrating the process at the recent Techtextil show in Frankfurt. “Once triggered, the material will transform into a low molecular weight wax structure leaving no microplastics or toxic residue behind.
“In addition, if the product comprising the biotransformation technology is disposed of in the normal way, and facilities are available, it can then be recycled by readily available means.”
Avgol received the Innovation Award for this development at the RIGHT Hygiene conference held in New Delhi, India, in June.