Universidad de Puerto Rico-Cayey<br />Departamento de Biología<br />Cayey, P.R. 00736<br />Proposal Research<br />María Alejandra Rosa Vázquez<br />RISE Program-Summer<br />The rice fiber as a substitute for the disposable ware<br />The pollution with disposable ware is a great problem, in these days, that affects every organism on Earth. This research proposal tries to solve this situation by giving an alternative in the production of disposable ware. This will be possible by using the rice fiberto do disposable ware that will have the same usage of plastic disposable ware, but they will be functional to the environment; its degradation will take a short time.<br />The main character of this work is the rice, which contains thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, iron, potassium, carbon hydrates, vitamins, etc. It’s very important in today’s source of alimentation; it provides the 20% of the world’s dietary energy supply. Because of that, there’s a great waste of the outer layer of the grain, which is removed in the refining process. This makes the rice a perfect candidate for this work because I will be using all the waste of it to do something beneficial to everyone. Another good quality of the rice is that it has a short time degradation of about 140-180 days. Despite all this, the reality is that we still doing plastic ware which takes 500 years to degraded. It also contributes to the greenhouse gasses; the technique that they use to produce this plastic disposable ware is causing the increasing of the gasses that affect and generates the global warning. This kind of pollution affects our homes by causing floods when they enter into the drainage lines and chores. Not only our homes became affect, but our environment; the 90% of the articles found at the sea beaches are compose of plastic. This percent means that the pollution with this material is increasing every day. Not only that, this material is affecting us directly because it can cause damages to the central nervous system. For all that, this work will develop a kind of material using the rice fiber as the main source, which will help to decrease the pollution. After that, I will determine the resistance of this new product in different temperature, pH and exposure to liquids (water, orange juice and soda). <br />This project is dividing in two phases to have a better manage and control of the experiment. The phase I consist in developing the material. There will be use the process of fermentation to create a paste with the rice fiber that will end in distillation, where the liquid will boil and then evaporate. After this, some prototypes will be elaborate from the new material to continue to the next phase. In the phase II, the prototypes will have three resistance tests. The first one consists in test the temperature: the prototypes will be exposing in temperatures between 60℉ to 400℉, which are the conditions of the daily use with the food; at 5, 10 and 30 minutes each temperature. The second one is the test of pH: the prototypes will be place in solutions with a pH between 2 to 8, the solutions will be food those we us daily; each pH will be expose for 5, 10 and 30 minutes. The third test is with liquids: the prototypes will be exposing for 5, 10 and 30 minutes in water, orange juice and soda. The results of each test will be tabulate in a table, which will be examining at the end of the experiment.<br />After this work, I will use the new material to develop disposable wares (cups and plates). The finality of this is to, in a near future, substitute the plastic disposable ware for rice fiber disposable ware. This will contribute to the decreasing of the pollution with plastic and after many years the eradication of it. For continue with this kind of material (rice fiber) I want to determine and create cups for hot and cold liquids. This will be a great change of life that will help every organism and nature of the world and will improve to a better future to the next generations. <br />References<br /><ul><li>Gerald Audesirk, Teresa Audesirk. 1997. Biologia: La vida en la Tierra. Cuarta Edicion. Compania Editorial Ultra, S.A. Capitulo 8: Produccion de energia a partir de alimentos: glucolisis y respiracion celular. Pagina: 145.
Mariana Alvarez; Contaminacion del plastic; June 2009 www.ecologia2009-ecomundo2009.blogspot.com/2009/06/contaminacion-del-plastico.html
Naomi Szeben; Biodegradable Cutlery and Paper Plates; May 7, 2009; www.reducing-waste.suite101.com/articledm/biodegradable_cutlery_and_paper_plates.