Case Study on the Production of Polylactic Acid (PLA) using Sugarcane By-Products and Residues in the Philippines

Author : Alvarez, Clarisse Ann Dominguez
Major Adviser : Borines, Myra G.
Committee Members : Movillon, Jovita L.; Capunitan, Jewel A.
Year : 2021
Month : January
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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The production of biodegradable plastics from agricultural residues or by-products is of great interest considering the effects of solid wastes accumulation, manufacturing of petroleum-based traditional plastic, and the advantages of waste utilization. Polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradable polymer synthesized from lactic acid, is currently one of the most promising bioplastics due to its properties. This research aimed to compare PLA production using different sugarcane residue and by-products such as bagasse, cane trash, molasses and filter cake in terms of agricultural residue availability, lactic acid production potential, fermentable sugar yield, logistics, and sustainability. Different practices throughout PLA production were discussed to provide information on the most effective and feasible way of manufacturing. Among the sugarcane residue and by-products considered in this study, sugarcane trash and bagasse have the greatest potential as feedstock for the production of lactic acid, and eventually, of polylactic acid. Bagasse, a lignocellulosic residue obtained after cane juice extraction was used as feedstock in the proposed PLA production in the Philippines through biological route. Gaps and further developments in this field were identified based on past researches.

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