Interesting that sugar cane has such potential in the development of biopolymers and definitely a big win for Brazil's economy. Too bad there wasn't some secret source of sugar cane that would land such a plant (and jobs) on US soil.
You have a point, Beth. It would be good to see this type of development in the United States. If not sugar cane, there are certainly other crops that could be productive. At any rate, it's a shame this kind of cool project isn't getting done in Dow's home state of Michigan. They could use the boost.
There are plenty of big bioplastics production operations in the US: DuPont, Tate & Lyle, ADM, and Metabolix for example. Corn is the feedstock of choice in the USA because of its abundance and government support. Future bioreactors in the USA are likely to use waste biomass as the feedstock. Economics to be determined.
Bioreactors using waste biomass as the feedstock--we've come full circle! And of course, with every major plant like this comes all the hoopla surrounding environmental impact, etc. Glad to hear, though, that the USA is #1 in bioplastic production. That's encouraging.
Number one in production, but number two in consumption. That's because Europe is more advanced in requiring materials that help reduce carbon footprint. Cereplast operates a substantial bioplastic compounding plant in Indiana, but most of its sales are in Italy.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
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.