Biodegradability of Conventional Plastics - Chapter 11: Biodegradability of automotive plastics and composites

Elsevier, Biodegradability of Conventional Plastics: Opportunities, Challenges, and Misconceptions, Volume 1, 1 January 2022
Kumar L., Saha A., Khushbu, Warkar S.G.

Plastic and polymeric materials are lightweight and molded, extruded, or pressed into solid objects of various shapes, making them the preferred choice in the evolution and design of new automotive goods and products. However, they have become a huge environmental problem. Their degradation is a big challenge, as disposed-of plastics are not easily destroyed and persist for a long time in the environment, causing environmental pollution. Polymer degradation by biological agents such as microorganisms and their enzymes is a promising strategy. It provides sustainable and green methods to deal with plastic pollution and an opportunity for the valorization of plastics into several value-added products. This chapter commences with an overview of materials used in the automobile industry to manufacture various parts. It then presents an account of using plastic as an alternative to conventional materials in manufacturing automobile parts. The chapter contributes to the existing knowledge in the biodegradation of synthetic plastics, especially within the automobile sector. It also focuses on the biodegradable aspects of automotive plastics and composites. It discusses the applicability of biological processes for the remediation of plastics as sustainable practice and future implications of biodegradable polymers and composites in the automobile industry.