- International Community School, Thailand
- Pornsak Sriamornsak
- Mr. Chaitawat Sahapattarajit;Naviya Chatamornrat
- Biodegradable absorbent
As the world has become concerned about the global waste crisis and global warming, there has been a surge of research within materials science to find materials that would replace plastic, such as bioplastics or biodegradable materials, in order to reduce environmental pollution. Plastics generates the microplastics that allowed them to become cross contamination enter the ocean through land, sea and river. Science research found (Lusher et al. (2017)) over 220 species of marine animals ingested microplastic, half of them are considered relevant for commercial purpose and increasing the risk of human consumption as it can induce immune response, oxidative stress, cytotoxicity, alter membrane integrity and cause differential expression of genes.
Thailand is also experiencing such a challenge, as seen by the overabundance of plastic waste that might take centuries to decompose. For example, around 1680 million personal hygiene products such as diapers, sanitary napkins, and tampons are used each year. This study highlights the use of naturally accessible absorbent fibers from malva nut (Scaphium scaphigerum) (G. Don) Guib & Planch.), which is widely available and biodegradable in nature and has a low carbon footprint. This study also aimed to develop natural absorbent pads using compostable spun, external layers, and biodegradable glue. A prototype sanitary napkin with biodegradable absorbent pads was developed and evaluated for absorption ability, absorption rate, pH, and biodegradability. The absorbent material absorbed up to 19 times its weight in 2 minutes and 33 times its weight in 2 hours, which is enough for an average of 80-150 mL of menstrual blood. The prototype napkin deteriorated within 99 days, based on naked eye observation. Some signs of degradation and microorganisms growing on the prototype were also observed from scanning electron microscopic images. According to the findings, natural absorbent pads made from malva nut have the potential to be converted into sanitary napkins. Furthermore, it is proposed that the components, which include superabsorbent renewable materials, spinning compostable layer, external compostable layer and biodegradable glue, may be used in a variety of goods, including adult diaper pants, incontinence pads, and laboratory bench mats.