An interesting technology developed in Sweden using biofilms may combine efficient treatment of waste water with low-cost production of bioplastics.
In the MBBRTM biofilm technology, communities of micro-organisms (called biofilms) grow within engineered plastic carriers, which are designed with high internal surface area. Pollutants that need to be removed are food or substrate for growth of the biofilm. Design of the plastic carrier (shown in image above) is critical to rapidly transfer oxygen to the microorganisms. The MBBRTM biofilm technology is patented by AnoxKaldnes, which is now part of Veolia Water Systems and Technologies of St. Maurice, France.
AnoxKaldnes is now researching the potential of using the biofilm technology to produce polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), polymers that are “energy reserves” for these bacterial microorganisms. PHAs have mechanical properties comparable to polypropylene, but are costly because current production systems are based on pure cultures of bacteria.
In the AnoxKaldnes’ approach, the complex bacteria in a wastewater treatment plant are used instead of a pure culture of PHA-producing bacteria. The process configuration and conditions are used to favor the enrichment of PHA production.
The grab bag of plastic and rubber materials featured in this new product slideshow are aimed at lighting applications or automotive uses. The rest are for a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, oil & gas, RF and radar, automotive, building materials, and more.
Many of the new adhesives we're featuring in this slideshow are for use in automotive and other transportation applications. The rest of these new products are for a wide variety of applications including aviation, aerospace, electrical motors, electronics, industrial, and semiconductors.
A Columbia University team working on molecular-scale nano-robots with moving parts has run into wear-and-tear issues. They've become the first team to observe in detail and quantify this process, and are devising coping strategies by observing how living cells prevent aging.
Many of the new materials on display at MD&M West were developed to be strong, tough replacements for metal parts in different kinds of medical equipment: IV poles, connectors for medical devices, medical device trays, and torque-applying instruments for orthopedic surgery. Others are made for close contact with patients.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.