Kawanishi /PRNewswire/ - Green Science Alliance has been trying to replace all the petrochemical derived products with natural biomass derived chemical products. This time, Mr. Daiki Tanaka and Dr. Ryohei Mori have developed natural biomass biodegradable 3D printer ink.
Environmental problems caused by population explosion such as global warming, extreme weather, natural resource depletion, water shortage and plastic pollution are getting severe in the world. Human beings have been producing and consuming petroleum derived chemical products for over a century. Because of this, the amount of CO2 which is regarded as one of main causes for global warming, is increasing every year. Utilizing natural biomass chemical products is one of the most effective ways in order to not increase CO2 any longer, as they can be carbon neutral. The obvious example of petroleum derived chemical products is plastic, which is the cause of microplastic problems, especially in the marine environment. Besides plastics, products such as resin, coatings, color paint, glue and adhesive are the major petroleum derived products, and including plastic, they occupy over 80 % of petroleum derived chemical products.
In this regard, Green Science Alliance has been challenged to replace all the petroleum based chemical products on earth with 100 % natural biomass based chemical products. So far, they have been developing 100 % natural biomass biodegradable plastic, resin, coating, color ink, paint, glue and adhesive. And this time, they have created natural biomass biodegradable resin based 3D printer ink.
In case for FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) for 3D printer, elongated thermoplastic resin named as filament, is used as printer ink. In general, thermoplastic resin such as ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) have been utilized as filament. In addition, ASA (Acrylate Styrene Acrylonitrile), PP (Polypropylene), PC(Polycarbonate), Nylon, acrylic resin, PETG(Glycol-modified PET), thermoplastic polyurethane, metal also have been applied as 3D printer ink.
It seems that the research to develop bioplastic-based 3D printer ink has started just recently. Green Science Alliance has created 3D printer resin ink with their cellulose based biodegradable resin.
Actually, PLA which is already used as 3D printer ink resin, could be biomass biodegradable resin. However, PLA could be the problem because they are made of edible biomass such as corns sugarcanes and this could be a problem because food shortage is one problem for human beings. In this regard, cellulose is non-edible biomass and it is the most abundant natural resource on earth. So the good thing is that cellulose does not compete with human nutritious food.
Some of Green Science Alliance technologies are registered by the United Nation Organization (UNIDO's platform "STePP", WIPO GREEN) and they were also selected as finalists on the startup incubation programme of UNOPS GIC Japan in 2020.