Continuing with their investigations into materials and their applications, students in Year 12 have been exploring biodegradable materials. Starch-based polymers, or biopolymers as they are more commonly known, do not rely on the use of crude oil, instead they take their origins from the most humble of sources – the potato.
Following a basic recipe, students started by chopping, mashing, grating and blending potatoes. Developing their practical application of science within design technology students added a special blend of a homemade alkali and an acid mix, along with a touch of glycerine to give the biopolymer increased plasticity. After a few drops of food colouring and a period of drying, hey presto – our very own potato plastic! Could this be the widespread future of sustainable plastics?