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Q&A: Can bioplastic make bioglue?

by Green Plastics


Giovanni writes in to ask:

I have studied organic chemics, I never thought about bio-plastics. Now that I do, after finding occasionally your site, I wonder if they may be used to create glues. It would be wonderful if I could just mix something together and refill my glue bottle once and then, rather than buying all the time small amounts and hoping they will not dry out too quickly.

As a hobby I construct model naval vessels and normally I use a glue called “Vinavil”, which is somewhat bio, I guess, but not too much. The quality of this glue is however low (except for the strength) and anything else may be easily better. After reading most of the receipes and comments, I believe that adding more plasticizer will create a jelly-like plastic which eventually hardens. As I know from anorganic chemics, thermoplast is normally a very good glue, but it is difficult and somewhat dangerous to apply (heat). And, when it is dry, ususally it hasn’t really penetrated and pieces break quickly apart.

The jelly-glue makes me think that the remains of water will soak into the wood and thus penetrate the glue into. Now, since it is only an idea … do you think it may work? Or does the jelly-plastic never harden? I would like just to hear your opinion, before I start to transform my kitchen (and office) into a semi-professional chemistry laboratory with all the people staring at me

Thanks for writing in with your question, and I’m glad that you’ve been inspired to work with bioplastics.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that bioplastic will be very effective as an adhesive.  Anything that you applied to other surfaces (the surfaces that you want to stick together) would probably not penetrate very deep, and have the same problem as thermoplastics.  Also, if you add too much plasticizer you have a good chance that it will stay “gooey” forever, rather than hardening.

You can always feel free to experiment, of course!  I would love to hear the results, if you do.  But my initial reaction is that bioplastics won’t have the properties that you need for an effective adhesive.

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