In recent years, bio-plastics from renewable resources (corn, sugar cane, etc.) are gaining ground over conventional plastics from petroleum. Polylactic acid (PLA) is considered as one of the most promising bio-plastics in particular because of its good mechanical properties, but also its biodegradability. That's why it is used for short duration food packaging, such as yoghurt pots, cups or plastic bottles.
However, its growing use in more durable applications such as automotive and electronics implies overstepping its biodegradable nature and that a particular emphasis is given to its recycling. It is precisely on this point that the LIST researchers will work in the DuraPla project launched in collaboration with the University of Mons and the University of Lorraine and financially supported by the National Research Fund (FNR) within its CORE programme.
The project will study at laboratory scale the impact of the number of recycling on the mechanical, physical and chemical properties of PLA. The possible valorisation of the recycled PLA will also be tackled.