IFM researchers have developed a way to add value to cotton gin trash and convert it into a range of potential biodegradable products, such as biodegradable plastic.

Globally, about 26 million tonnes of cotton lint is produced each year with at least 10 per cent of this discarded as waste – known as cotton gin trash (CGT), worth more than $US1million in lost material value.

CGT is a promising source of renewable biomass. When it is broken down, the resulting organic polymer can potentially be converted into a biodegradable material for a range of applications.

The IFM team, led by Dr Maryam Naebe, has developed a viable processing route to add value to CGT and convert it into a range of potential biodegradable products, such as biodegradable plastic.

The team is now looking to apply the process to other organic wastes and fibrous plant materials (such as hemp, almond hulls/shells, wheat straw, wood saw dust or wood shaving).