Federal loan guarantees may be required to move some new bioplastics ventures from the lab to commercial reality. An article in the Wall Street Journal says that Micromidas, a California company that make plastics from raw sewage is having trouble finding $10 million in capital required to build a plant.
Novomer, a Cornell spinoff that converts industrial carbon dioxide into plastics, needs a $100 million cash infusion to move from pilot scale to commercialization.
Coming to the rescue could be a five-year-old U.S. Department of Energy loan-guarantee program for new environmentally friendly technologies. The program is expected to shift its focus in 2011 from solar and wind projects to less-developed enterprises.
Meanwhile, a corporate funded program to convert industrial wastewater to plastics seems to be gaining traction in Sweden.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
The 100-percent solar-powered Solar Impulse plane flies on a piloted, cross-country flight this summer over the US as a prelude to the longer, round-the-world flight by its successor aircraft planned for 2015.
GE Aviation expects to chop off about 25 percent of the total 3D printing time of metallic production components for its LEAP Turbofan engine, using in-process inspection. That's pretty amazing, considering how slow additive manufacturing (AM) build times usually are.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.