North Carolina State University researchers have developed biodegradable materials that could aid efforts to reduce plastic film. The material is made using large molecules called biopolymers - agarose, which comes from seaweed, and chitosan, which makes crab shells hard and which the researchers used to make the plastic-like film strong. N.C. State Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering professor Orlin Velev said that when reinforced with chitosan, the seaweed-derived agarose becomes about four times stronger, and helps the film remain biodegradable. Velev said the next research goals are to figure out how to make the film in large amounts, and make it less permeable to air and water.

Read Full Story