DAEJEON, Oct. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — A group of South Korean scientists have developed a new biodegradable material that can replace microplastics used in cleansing and cosmetics products.
A joint research from the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology and the Pohang University of Science and Technology announced on Wednesday that it had developed a candidate material that can replace fine plastic particle microbeads using a natural chitosan material extracted from crab shells.
The research team succeeded in developing chitin microbeads (hereinafter referred as chito-beads) with a solid spherical shape, and confirmed their cleansing function using high-molecular chitosan.
To check the efficacity of the new microbeads as an abrasive for cleansing, the research team conducted an experiment in which waterproof eyeliner stains were removed by mixing chito-beads with liquid soap.
The pollutant was removed about twice as fast as with soap only.
Thanks to the polarity of the surface, it can also remove heavy metal ions, thus having the effect of removing fine dust containing heavy metals that can stick to one’s skin.
The evaluation of their biodegradability through the measurement of Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) showed that chito-beads are naturally degraded by the metabolism of microorganisms.
In particular, they degraded in seawater by more than 90 percent within a month.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)