BPA (Bisphenol A), is a chemical widely used to make hard, clear plastics. Its strength, structural stability, and light weight have made it excellent for use in things like eyeglasses and water bottles. However, BPA has been linked to several health problems as it disrupts how hormones function in the body. For many years BPA has been banned by the U.S. government for use in baby products that come into contact with food, the FDA is now considering the amount of exposure that is safe for adults. This will likely result in bans on BPA use in plastics that come into contact with food overall.
Given the negative health effects of consuming BPA, and the fact that it breaks down when exposed to water, scientists have been searching for replacements for years. It would seem easy to simply replace it with another chemical. However, it is not that easy as the very things that make BPA such an integral ingredient in plastics are the things that lead to its health risks. When BPA polycarbonates are exposed to water and heat – like when you put a plastic bottle in your dishwasher – the chemical bonds that link these BPA molecules together can break down, and BPA is more susceptible to this than other plastics like polyethylene. Research has also determined that many structurally similar chemical replacements, may pose the same health risks. However, all is not lost. There is promising new research, including making these polycarbonates by reacting bio-based molecules with carbon dioxide gas.
Among its 150+ experts, Lee Enterprises Consulting has a wide range of services in bioenergy, biomaterials and chemicals, biotechnologies, and feedstocks. We certainly have specialists in bioplastics. In fact, our biotechnology experts handle things like anaerobic digestion, biomass technologies, fermentation, gasification, catalysis, torrefaction, pyrolysis, carbonization, bioreactors, renewable hydrogen & renewable natural gas technologies, carbon capture & storage, waste to energy technologies, wastewater and water treatment, gas-to-liquids, hydrothermal and thermochemical conversions, syngas generation, bioplastics/polymers, fluidization, Fischer-Tropsch, direct combustion and power generation technologies, bio-fabricated proteins, synthetic biology, nutraceuticals, food products technology, aquaculture, and many other types of emerging technologies in the chemical, renewable/cleantech, and synthetic biology sectors.
Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. You will note that most of our experts are also available for ancillary engagements and advice, for specialty engagements like serving as expert witnesses in litigation matters. A good overview of our group is found in this video. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.