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.
A recent report sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) focuses on emerging gasification technologies for converting waste into energy and fuel on a large scale and saving it from the landfill. Some of that waste includes non-recycled plastic.
Capping a 30-year quest, GE Aviation has broken ground on the first high-volume factory for producing commercial jet engine components from ceramic matrix composites. The plant will produce high-pressure turbine shrouds for the LEAP Turbofan engine.
Seismic shifts in 3D printing materials include an optimization method that reduces the material needed to print an object by 85 percent, research designed to create new, stronger materials, and a new ASTM standard for their mechanical properties.
A recent study finds that 3D printing is both cheaper and greener than traditional factory-based mass manufacturing and distribution. At least, it's true for making consumer plastic products on open-source, low-cost RepRap printers.
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 discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.