A new German pilot plant has come on stream to produce a polyurethane feedstock based in part on waste carbon dioxide. Bayer is working on the project with the energy company RWE, RWTH Aachen University and the CAT Catalytic Center, which is run jointly by the university and Bayer. The researchers recently achieved a break-through in laboratory-scale catalysis technology.
If the testing phase goes well, the industrial production of plastics based on CO2 should start in 2015.
The carbon dioxide used in the project comes from RWE Power’s lignite power plant in Niederaussem outside Cologne, Germany. At its Coal Innovation Center there, the company operates a CO2 scrubber where the carbon dioxide is separated from the flue gas.
At the pilot plant, designed, built and run by Bayer Technology Services, kilograms of the carbon dioxide are used to produce one of the two components essential for the production of polyurethanes. Bayer MaterialScience is testing these materials, which are used primarily to produce soft and rigid foams, at one of its existing plants.
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.
New sensor technology integrates sensors, traces, and electronics into a smart fabric for wearables that measures more dimensions -- force, location, size, twist, bend, stretch, and motion -- and displays data in 3D maps.
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