“Ethanol” and New Role in Bioplastic Industry

Thailand has more than 60% of the total area of use for agriculture. Meanwhile, the country produces approximately 5 million tons of plastic from petroleum raw materials per year for both domestic consumption and export. 

Only if we change the raw materials used to make plastic from fossil energy that is difficult to decompose to “ethanol” made from plants that are easy to decompose. 

According to the Ministry of Finance, Thailand, it is indicated that plant-based ethanol made from sugarcane, cassava, etc., is a biological raw material that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a large amount. Growing plants to produce ethanol and using it in the production of bioplastics will enable a production process with a low Carbon Footprint, which absorbs approximately 15 million tons of greenhouse gases per year. 

The utilization of “ethanol” is divided into 3 groups according to industrial standards. Firstly, ethanol is used in pharmaceuticals. Secondly, it is used in industry as a starting material for producing products, such as vinegar and sauces, alcoholic beverages, a component of cosmetics such as perfume, soap, etc. Finally, ethanol is used in fuel production. 

The Ministry of Finance has resolved to promote the use of ethanol in other industries in addition to biofuel and liquor production. This is a part of the guidelines for driving national development under the BCG economic model, an abbreviation for Bio-Economy, Circular Economy, and Green Economy, for local ethanol producers to efficiently support the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 and zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2065. 

“The Ministry of Finance has therefore established guidelines for promoting the use of ethanol in the bioplastic industry. Doing so will lead to the production of environmentally friendly plastic pellets, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere as well as reducing the use of petrochemicals from fossil fuels in the production of plastic pellets.”