If I ask you what expanded polystyrene foam is, you may not know what I’m talking about, but everything changes if I tell you polystyrene. We have had enough of seeing this material protecting products in boxes, and being part of ultralight vehicles such as drones. It is lightweight, cheap to produce, and can be molded into any shape.
But polystyrene has the problem of not being biodegradable, and recycling it is expensive and difficult. So Georg’s German university They have worked in an alternative: make it with popcorn. Yes, popcorn, the kind we eat while watching series and movies.
More insulating, more reusable and even convertible into biogas
The process to make this popcorn polystyrene is not too complicated. We start from the corn cut by a machine into thin strips, and then we use steam at high temperature so that it explodes like when we put it in the microwave.
Once we have those pieces of popcorn made, they are mixed with a substance from plants that binds them together and finally pressurized with a mold. You let the mixture harden, you remove the mold and you have a completely biodegradable polystyrene.
And not only that: this bio-polystyrene better absorbs heat, does not ignite and can be reused without too much trouble. And when its useful life comes to an end it can be turned into biogas or animal feed. At the moment, the Bahl company has already licensed the product and will sell it as a protector in boxes or even as insulation in buildings.
Who knows. Maybe in the future we can do the unboxing of a television and at the same time take its protective packaging as an aperitif.
Source: Xataka by www.xataka.com.
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