A study demonstrated that solid recovered fuel created from nonrecycled plastics and other waste can power energy-intensive commercial and industrial operations. (Source: Balcones Resources/University of Texas at Austin)
The carbon emission savings are small, but don't miss the real point. From what I understand, isn't the real goal of using these unrecyclable materials to keep it out of landfills, and therefore reducing the need for so many landfills? We do get complacent in this country about landfills, because we do a good job of hiding them. Problem is that we are running out of places to hide them, and nobody wants a landfill in their back yard. A good point was made that in Europe, they are more concious of the issue of landfills, because they don't have as many places to hide them, and the problem is more in the public eye. It seems like a win-win-win situation. How could you argue with a system that reduces the number of mountains that we have to blow the top off of, reduces the landfill waste, reduces large amounts of SO2 (less scrubbing necessary), and saves a little of Carbon emissions as a bonus. Without some data, it seems moot to argue about the 700,000 homes/year, so it might be 500,000 or 800,000 who really cares, let's not miss the point, which is not carbon sequestering.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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.