Huge new projects are coming on line to produce plastics from corn through the processes of fermentation and polymerization. Now a Korean research team says it has developed a way to produce bioplastics, specifically polylactic acid, more efficiently.
Lee Sang-yup of the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology says PLA can be produced through a one-step process using bioengineering. Polymers are made directly from natural feedstocks using newly developed microbial genetics that starts with E. coli. The process has the potential to reduce costs of PLA. The Korean team also says they are studying ways to build polyesters through the process.
It’s a long. long way from the lab to the factory, however
Two new technologies from Stratasys, created in partnership with Boeing, Ford, and Siemens, will bring accurate, repeatable manufacturing of very large thermoplastic end products, and much bigger composite parts, onto the factory floor for industries including automotive and aerospace.
These new 3D-printing technologies and printers include some that are truly boundary-breaking: a sophisticated new sub-$10,000, 10-plus materials bioprinter, the first industrial-strength silicone 3D-printing service, and a clever twist on 3D printing and thermoforming for making high-quality realistic models.
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