Utilization of Intoxicating Yam (Dioscorea hispida dennust) for Making Eco-Friendly Plastics



Plastics are objects that are well known in the community as a place for food and other necessities, Plastics are not only used for packaging but also widely applied as a protective material such as electronics and other industrial materials. As packaging materials, plastic has various advantages that is, flexible (can follow the form of product), transparent (invisibility), not easily broken, not corrosive and the price is relatively cheap. Besides having many advantages that other packaging materials do not have, the plastics also have disadvantages that are not heat resistant, can contaminate the product, thereby posing a risk of consumer safety and health, and plastics including non-biodegradable.

Plastic waste

Currently, plastic packaging materials have caused quite serious problems. Plastic polymers that do not decompose naturally, lead to waste buildup and cause pollution and environmental damage. Various reports indicate, plastic-based products cause environmental damage. Plastic waste that is not recycled is very large. In 2009, out of 30 million tons of plastic waste in America, only 7 percent were recycled. The remainder ends up in landfills, beaches, rivers, and seas to form the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch. (National Geographic, 2009). In addition, the plastics in the manufacturing process use petroleum, which availability is increasingly reduced and difficult to refurbish (non- renewable). Such conditions lead to plastic packaging material can not be maintained its use widely, because it will increase environmental and health issues in the future.

Plastic wastes have recently become an environmental problem because of the increasing number and difficulty degraded by soil bacteria, naturally plastics made from petroleum will decompose for thousands of years, whereas if burned it will cause respiratory problems and problems other health, such as cancer or other diseases.

Intoxicating Yam Leaf

For some countries, especially developing countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and African country  the foods containing carbohydrate  is a major requirement. Carbohydrate-containing foods are quite high, including those of beans and tubers. One source of carbohydrates in Indonesia is Intoxicating Yam (Dioscorea hispida Dennust). Intoxicating Yam is included in the group of tubers and is a food that is not widely known by the community, except the community in rural areas. In general, Intoxicating Yam processed into chips or dried cassava as a typical food area or as substitution of staple foods, such as rice and sago.

Intoxicating Yam tubers

Utilization of Intoxicating Yam bulbs as food is still very limited, because the Intoxicating Yam contain a type of toxin, namely dioscorin, diosgenin and dioscin that can cause neurological disorders, so many people are still wary when consumed Intoxicating Yam (Dioscorea hispida Dennust). Because of its nature y which contains many carbohydrates and other substances such as starch, Intoxicating Yam (Dioscorea hispida Dennust) can be used for other benefits of making environmentally friendly plastics.

Based on the above problems it is very important to make plastics from other materials that are good for the environment, reduce the use of petroleum for plastics, and use natural non-petroleum for the manufacture of environmentally friendly plastic so that contamination of soil and water can be reduced by making plastic that can be rapid degradation

1. Describe the materials and tools used for making plastic from Intoxicating Yam (Dioscorea hispida Dennust).
2.Provide information on how to manufacture plastic from Intoxicating Yam (Dioscorea hispida Dennust).
3. To find out how the plastic produced from Intoxicating Yam (Dioscorea hispida Dennust).


Starch Extraction from Intoxicating Yam
A total of 5 pieces of Intoxicating Yam (approximately 1 Kg) in thin peeled with a knife then washed and soaked with salt water, so that the poison found in the yam is reduced and does not cause itching during starch extraction,

The starch extract yam

Intoxicating Yam then soaked with water and mashed with rasp  and puree again with the blender and in sediment for a night to be ready to be taken its way by decantation and filtered

The precipitated yam extract

After filtering, the obtained starch dried under the hot sun to get less than 100 grams of dried starch extract ready for use for plastic manufacture.

the obtained starch dried

Making Plastic From Intoxicating Yam

A total of 2.5 grams of dried starch was put into a 250 ml beaker glass and added 25 ml of water and stirred so that it flattened and then heated over the heater, while continuously stirring and added 0.1 M HCl, HCl in this process serves as a catalyst because the plastic preparation will be faster in acidic atmosphere, after which added as much as 2 ml of glycerin while continuously stirred, glycerine in this mixture as plasticizer (plastic forming) then in heat for several minutes until boiling solution.

The making plastic procces

After boiling, the formed solution then adding 0.1 M NaOH to neutralize the HCl used as the catalyst, the neutrality of the solution can be measured by using red and blue litmus paper or universal indicator, a neutral solution marked with red litmus paper stays red and blue litmus paper remains blue. after the solution becomes neutral dough in give a green dye to beautify the plastic, the dough has been given a green color then pour into the aluminum foil then dried by drying under the sun for a day.

Wet plastic at aluminium foil

The Plastic Result

The plastic formed by the above process is quite flexible and somewhat rigid depending on the thickness of plastics printed on aluminum foil, the thick plastic will be rigid, thin printed is more elastic, the plastic is formed in this process is a simple process using plasticizers glycerine, so the plastic that is produced is still simple and not in print in various forms such as plastics derived from petroleum.

The plastic result


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