If rubber comes from nature, why isn’t it biodegradable?

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If rubber comes from nature, why isn’t it biodegradable?

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8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The science behind the reduced biodegradability of natural rubber once it’s processed involves vulcanization. This process adds sulfur or other chemicals to raw rubber, creating cross-links between the rubber molecules. These cross-links significantly enhance rubber’s durability, elasticity, and resistance to temperature and physical stress. However, they also make the rubber much less susceptible to the microbial action that would normally break down organic materials, thus significantly reducing its biodegradability.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Well, rubber does biodegrade. Synthetic rubber doesn’t, as it’s made of synthetic material, which also doesn’t biodegrade.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Natural rubber is biodegradable…?

Synthetic rubber, made from petroleum, sometimes isn’t.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Basically every single element comes originally from nature which is where the thought process is incomplete. Very few things you see or use in your life are actually made out of pure natural materials but some form of composites.Composite in this context means it is either mixed directly with other elements or has been ‘glued’ with other materials. That prevents degradation which is a major factor when one creates a product that is supposed to last and act in a stable manner.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If rocks came from nature, why aren’t they biodegradable? 🙄

Anonymous 0 Comments

The extent of a thing being “natural” really doesn’t impact it’s biodegradability. Something can be biodegradable but also be highly processed and chemically modified during the manufacturing process

Also, there’s not really a standard by which something is officially “natural” or synthetic, it’s just a spectrum and different people can have different definitions so your question needs to be based on some common understanding of what you mean by natural

And finally, almost everything is made of substances found in nature. Plastic is made from oil which is found in nature. What happens to it between pulling the oil out of the ground and you buying the thing at the store is what is going to mean it’s no longer natural or whatever. Same thing with rubber. Sure, it comes from material gathered in nature or from plants, but they do stuff to it during manufacture that changes its properties significantly

Anonymous 0 Comments

Naturally occurring Rubber is biodegradable, however most of the rubber we use is vulcanized, making it neutral to any chemical reaction.

Anonymous 0 Comments

If you mean the kind you get from a tree (latex), sure, it has a pretty low lifespan. But the vulcanization process, which makes it harder, stronger, and longer-lasting, also causes it to take a long time to break down. Like, centuries longer.

A lot of the “rubber” we use today is completely man-made. It is basically a type of plastic, made from petroleum byproducts. That isn’t biodegradable.