Mexican scientists develop degradable biomaterial to replace styrofoam


Four young scientists in Jalisco created a biomaterial that is environmentally friendly and could revolutionize the polluting packing industry, the newspaper El Heraldo reported. 

The material is called biocel, and it is a substitute for unicel, with the same characteristics of expanded polystyrene. It is resistant to impacts and has fire insulation properties, but with a faster capacity to degrade than traditional plastic.

While unicel (styrofoam) takes 500 years to degrade, biocel’s degradation process is natural and it takes just 25 to 30 days under conditions of erosion, water or just under the sun.

The biomaterial was created by architects and designers from Radial Startup, which has a biotechnological foundation and an environmental approach. The experts based their work on the metabolism of fungi, using agri-industrial wastes as the raw material, the newspaper added.

For now, biocel can only be used for packing; however, the creators of the product are studying the way to use it to make plates, vases and utensils.

“We are preparing these pieces so that tomorrow television sets, computers, refrigerators, above all the electronics industry, can be packed in this kind of biomaterial,” said Radial Cofounder Rodrigo Muttio. 

Source: Prensa Latina