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.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
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LeMond Composites, founded by three-time Tour de France cycling champion Greg LeMond, is the first to license a new carbon fiber production method invented by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) that's faster, cheaper, and greener.
This month will mark the launch of the SpeedFoiler, a super-fast, ultra-lightweight foiling catamaran that can fly short distances over water faster than other foiling designs, in part because of its carbon composite materials.
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