DuPont of Wilmington, DE, spent 15 years developing a new category of bio-based materials called DuPont Renewably Sourced Materials. The company launched a Web portal at renewable.dupont.com to make it easy for design engineers to find and learn about these materials. In addition to basic product information, the website provides environmental data sheets for each product family. These sheets disclose information on the products’ cradle-to-grave environmental footprint, including an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions and non-renewable energy consumption.
DuPont’s renewably sourced materials are high-performance, bio-based materials and biofuels made in whole or in part from renewable agricultural feedstocks such as corn, soybeans, sugar cane and wheat rather than petroleum. In the future, DuPont expects to make these materials from cellulosic feedstocks from fast-growing energy crops such as grasses and agricultural byproducts like corn stalks. There are two criteria DuPont uses to select renewably sourced materials. First, they must contain at least 20 percent renewably sourced ingredients by weight, and second, the product must perform as well or better than petroleum-derived products.
Conventional wisdom holds that MIT, Cal Tech, and Stanford are three of the country’s best undergraduate engineering schools. Unfortunately, when conventional wisdom visits the topic of best engineering schools, it too often leaves out some of the most distinguished programs that don’t happen to offer PhD-level degrees.
Airbus Defence and Space has 3D printed titanium brackets for communications satellites. The redesigned, one-piece 3D-printed brackets have better thermal resistance than conventionally manufactured parts, can be produced faster, cost 20% less, and save about 1 kg of weight per satellite.
A group of researchers at the Seoul National University have discovered a way to take material from cigarette butts and turn it into a carbon-based material that’s ideal for storing energy and creating a powerful supercapacitor.
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