R&D status of biodegradable polymers in Korea

Soo Hyun Kim, Young Ha Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several companies have developed inherently biodegradable plastics based on starch and foam for loose-fill packaging material was the representing case. It is water soluble, but the change of the resilience and volume is less than several % when it is laid open at 32°C, RH 70%. Starch-based polyvinylalcohol, aliphatic polyester, polycaprolactone biodegradable polymers were developed also. The PET fiber manufacturing companies have developed aliphatic polyester biodegradable plastics based on diol (butanediol, ethylene glycol) and diacid (succinic acid, adipic acid). The polymers have shown good mechanical properties and processibilities. They have succeeded to apply for injection, films, sheets, extrusion coatings, filaments, non-woven products, foams, and blow molding and lead this area in Korea. Polyhydroxybutyrate(PHB) and its copolymer were the first biodegradable polymer introduced in Korea. The gene cloning and recombinant technology was succeeded to produce PHB and PHB/V by E-coli and to yield the higher productivity than before. Lactic acid production and direct condensation polymerization of lactic acid is also being developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-99
Number of pages15
JournalMacromolecular Symposia
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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