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.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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