Bioplastics from avocado seeds

Tuesday, 29 October 2019 08:14 Written by 
  • Location(s): Mexico
  • Type(s): Solution
  • Theme(s): Innovation
  • SDG(s): 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Types of ComSec Solutions: Solution
Bioplastics from avocado seeds © MIT Technology Review

Problem: The carbon footprint of plastics production is very high due to the manufacturing process. The footprint of carbon determines how much impacts to global warming a certain product. So other technologies seriously affect the natural ecosystem and the planet's carbon cycle, causing a deterioration and increase of the average temperature of the planet.

Solution: Biofase has developed a unique technology for the manufacture of biodegradable products derived from the avocado pit, which is disposable and not edible.

Goals and Objectives: Along with other plastics made from food waste, Biofase’s biopastics could help meet the growing demand for plastics without hampering progress in the fight against hunger.

Implementation: Scott Munguía, a young Mexican chemical engineer, discovered in 2011 that the avocado seed contains a biopolymer similar to the one present in corn, which is used to produce bioplastic. In 2014, he founded Biofase, a company based in Monterrey that commercializes bioplastic products, made of 60 per cent avocado biopolymer and 40 per cent synthetic organic compounds.

The straws and cutlery made from avocado seeds decompose in only 240 days, and there is no need for incineration. This makes them a sustainable alternative for cities or countries that lack incineration facilities in their waste plants.

Unlike other types of bioplastics, this alternative does not use crops suitable for human consumption—such as corn or cassava. The carbon footprint is much less than other plastics and bioplastics, including paper. This is largely due to a phenomenon called bonus of biogenic carbon, which explains that the Avocado tree, when growing, absorbs CO2 of the atmosphere to form its tissues. This phenomenon does not occur in the production of any plastic derived of the oil.

Achievements: Reduces consumption up to 60% plastic derived from oil without need to be treated in a way special or to separate for recycling.

Biofase’s products have a great manufacturing potential. According to Munguía, 300,000 tonnes of avocado seeds are discarded annually in Mexico, an estimated 20 per cent of the global demand for bioplastics.

Prior to the creation of Biofase, all biopolymer products had to be imported from other countries into Mexico. Biofase, through its patented technology, became the only biopolymers producer company in Mexico. Now Biofase lead the production of biopolymer in Latin America, exporting bioplastic products to more than 19 countries.

Contact information:
Mexico
Scott Munguía, Biofase founder
Phone: +52 800 999 1183

Read 287 times Last modified on Tuesday, 29 October 2019 11:13
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