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Green Packaging Materials: Polyvinyl Alcohol

Views: 261     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-06-07      Origin: Site

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Green Packaging Materials: Polyvinyl Alcohol

What is PVA?

PVA, or polyvinyl alcohol, is a synthetic polymer that is tasteless, colorless, and soluble in water. PVA is categorized as a plastic manufactured from fossil fuels since it is a synthetic polymer. To distinguish it from a substance with a similar name, polyvinyl acetate, which is most frequently used in wood glues, it is sometimes abbreviated as PVOH or PVAl.

What are PVA’s applications?

As a result of its biocompatibility, low propensity for protein attachment, and low toxicity, PVA is utilized in a range of medicinal applications. Contact lenses, eye drops, and cartilage replacements are a few examples of specific usage. Polymers based on PVA are frequently utilized in additive manufacturing as well. For instance, the pharmaceutical business has a lot of promise for 3D-printed oral dose forms.Using PVA as a binder material enables the production of drug-loaded tablets with altered drug-release properties. As an embolic agent in a uterine fibroids embolectomy (UFE), it is also possible to utilize it medically. PVA is also frequently used in home sponges, which have a higher water absorption capacity than polyurethane sponges. Porous materials like wood, paper, and linen are frequently bound together with PVA glue.Additionally, it is employed in a vast array of sectors due to its versatility. It possesses low toxicity, great flexibility, resistance to oil, grease, and solvents, air impermeability, and high tensile strength. Examples include the use of capsules for medications and in medicine for the replacement of cartilage. And it is employed in the manufacture of fibers to stop breakages.PVA is also a key component in making high-gloss paper.

How is it used in packaging?

PVA creates durable, flexible films that work well as odor and oxygen barriers. Additionally, it is solvent, oil, and grease resistant.Due to these characteristics, it is perfect for sachets, especially when the liquid within must be dissolved in water (as in the packaging for laundry detergent known as "pods"). It is widely utilized in tablet capsules as well, as was previously noted.It is now being utilized as a more environmentally friendly substitute for LDPE plastic bags, which are frequently used in shopping bags or clothing bags like the invisible bag seen at the top of this piece.

What makes PVA so sustainable?

PVA proponents highlight its EOL (end-of-life) performance, where its microbial decomposition and low toxicity make it a more environmentally friendly substitute for materials like LDPE.It should be remembered that just because something dissolves in water doesn't mean the PVA is gone. Similar to how salt dissolves in water, even when it cannot be seen, salt is still present. Fish are not harmed by solutions containing up to 5% PVA, according to studies.Although the material can be biodegraded by bacteria and fungi, this happens slowly; according to one study, only 32% of the material is degraded during the wastewater treatment process, with the remainder being either released into the environment, dumped, burned, or used in agriculture along with other waste treatment byproducts.As of this writing, it is unclear how the remaining 68% will affect things, although biodegradation will still happen.Although it is conceivable (though unusual) to acquire ethylene synthesized from renewable, bio-based sources, PVA is often derived from fossil fuels because it is a synthetic polymer formed from acetic acid and ethylene.

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