Pulp and paper waste is the big new headliner as a feedstock for bioplastics. Corn was the big early play, but that has changed. The latest news: CSM subsidiary Purac said it has signed a contract to participate in a consortium that will develop a process to produce feedstock from cellulosic waste derived from the pulp and paper industry for the production of lactic acid. The other partners in the program are Crown Van Gelder N.V., a paper-producing company, and Bumaga B.V., a development center in the paper and board industry. The project is partly funded by the Dutch Ministries of Economic Affairs and Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. The Dutch government has been a major supporter of bioplastics, and one of the other major players is DSM.
A lightweight electric urban concept car designed by several European companies weighs only 992 lb without its battery. It would have weighed 26.7 lb more if its windows were made of glass instead of the specially coated LEXAN polycarbonate resin from SABIC Innovative Plastics.
Skylar Tibbits' team in MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is now 4D printing self-assembling shapes made of programmable carbon composites and custom wood grain. The composites are being used in a sport car airfoil, and the wood grain is beautiful.
The NanoSteel Company has produced high-hardness ferrous metal matrix composite (MMC) parts using a new nanosteel powder in a one-step 3D-printing process. Parts are 99.9% dense, crack-free, and with wear resistance comparable to M2 tool steels.
The company that brought you 3D-printed eyeglasses has launched both an improved clear polymer material for 3D printing optical components and a high-speed, precision, 3D-printing process for making small- and medium-sized batches in a few days.
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