HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Page 1/2  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Removing the burdens around sustainable design
Ann R. Thryft   8/2/2012 12:07:39 PM
NO RATINGS
The amount of corn grown for and used in non-food and non-ethanol uses is truly astonishing, since some of that corn could be feeding people or animals instead of driving up demand and therefore prices. OTOH, corn grown for animal food is a different variety from corn grown for people food.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Removing the burdens around sustainable design
Ann R. Thryft   8/1/2012 11:57:33 AM
NO RATINGS
I think quibbling over whether cooking oil is food diverts from the real issue of why we're talking about food crops, which is, as you mention, the impact on the food supply. Regardless of how we define food, the fact is that cooking oils do not sustain life, but soybeans and corn do. The point in the "not from food crops" discussion is whether a bioplastic feedstock comes directly from a food crop that could have fed people--and thus helps drive up its price, making it harder for them to eat--or indirectly from a byproduct of food production. The most byproduct-y byproduct would be trash or waste from that food crop's production, so the food crop goes directly to feeding people and a waste product, such as corn husks or cobs, from that same crop went to produce the bioplastic.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Removing the burdens around sustainable design
jmiller   7/31/2012 8:14:04 PM
NO RATINGS
I also love to see technology trying to find a way to use this waste material.  I am interested in how the material goes from byproduct to foam.  In the case of ethanol they are trying to take the energy out of the corn stocks to make a fuel.  In this case it sounds like they have a greater chance of success because it doesn't sound like the chemical composition is as critical.  Perhaps I am simplifying it a little bit, but it does sound promising.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Removing the burdens around sustainable design
jmiller   7/31/2012 8:09:44 PM
NO RATINGS
Currently, there are several different technolgies trying to find a use for that waste material.  Especially in the area of corn.  However, with the creation of ethonal the density of that material makes it difficult.  As well as the amount of material that must be used to create something like ethonal.  Farmers would love to find a way to make use of this material.  It will be neat to see if they can come up with something like this that will be profitable for all.

jmiller
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Removing the burdens around sustainable design
jmiller   7/31/2012 8:05:54 PM
NO RATINGS
Technology has also made it possible for more corn on corn.  So storage has become more of an issue.  Corn is more profitable.  But if you can't store it, you have to sell it at a lower price.

Jerry dycus
User Rank
Gold
Re: Removing the burdens around sustainable design
Jerry dycus   7/31/2012 4:56:02 PM
NO RATINGS
Interesting article Ann.  I'll have to get me some.

One thing to be aware of is trapping water next to metal that foam used like this can cause.

As for the food vs fuel debate almost no food is not being made because of biofuels.  Why is the acreage has increased as has the yield/acre that is far above what is used for biofuels.

Next only part of the crop is used.  When making ethanol one also has dried mash which is a higher quality food for animals or humans. Plus one gets .5gal corn oil, stalks, cobs to spread the EROI, ROI making ethanol more eff than gasoline if you use their EROI method for both.

 

As for soy again only part of the plant, the oil is used but you still have bean meal and just as important the N2 in the soil it grew in.  One normally rotates 1 soy, one corn crop for this and other reasons.  Again acreage for soy has increased from non used lands and yields have increased.

 

One should also know a good part of the corn crop goes for chemical production, more than feeding cattle, etc or ethanol uses.

 

Fact is we grow far more than we need which is good because the rest of the world is going to need it and we need the cash.  So likely many more new acres and yield increases are in our future.

 

Myself as many know drive my EV's at 25% of a similar fueled car all costs included. But for national and economic security we need biofuels and other ones like fuels from plastics. other wastes plus NG added to EV's and far more eff cars, trucks.

  

 

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Removing the burdens around sustainable design
Dave Palmer   7/31/2012 3:28:52 PM
NO RATINGS
@Ann: I guess you're right that it's a matter of definitions.  To me, "food" means something that people eat.  People eat soybean oil, so soybean oil is a food. (If you read some food labels the next time you're in the grocery store, you'll see how just many foods contain soybean oil -- it's a surprising large part of the modern U.S. diet). Allan James' statement that soybean oil is an industrial product is true, but may be somewhat misleading; currently, only 4% of U.S. soybean oil is used for industrial purposes.  The rest is used for food.

In fact, a far greater percentage of soy oil than soy protein is used for direct human consumption.  Only about 2% of soy protein is directly consumed by humans; the rest is used as animal feed.

I think we agree, though, that it matters less whether soybean oil is a food product per se than what the overall impact on the food supply is.  I don't see soy-based polyurethane foams having a significant impact on global food prices or availability in the way that, say, widespread use of soy-based biodiesel or corn-based ethanol would.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Removing the burdens around sustainable design
Ann R. Thryft   7/31/2012 12:49:41 PM
NO RATINGS
It's not disingenuous, but rather a matter of definition. "Food crop" means a crop like corn or soybeans or wheat that people depend on for sustenance, not an oil derived from one of those that is used in cooking. Soybean oil may be used in cooking and an ingredient in animal feed, but it's not human or animal food. That's the major difference. Another difference, which is very hard to determine (I've tried often to get this data), is whether a feedstock comes from a potential food crop like corn or soybeans that is grown specifically to make that feedstock, or the feedstock is created from "waste" material of that crop that would normally be thrown away.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Removing the burdens around sustainable design
Ann R. Thryft   7/31/2012 12:36:50 PM
NO RATINGS
We've just heard back from Allan James, the person I interviewed at Dow. The spec he gave me was, in fact, wrong--thanks to Dave Palmer for pointing that out. James says the correct measurements are 1.45 pcf for BETAFOAM Renue and 2.0 pcf for the product being replaced.

Dave
User Rank
Gold
conversion
Dave   7/31/2012 12:15:36 PM
NO RATINGS
2 pcf = .03 grams per cc

Page 1/2  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
ABI Research, a firm based in the UK that specializes in analyzing global connectivity and other emerging technologies, estimates there will be 40.9 billion active wirelessly interconnected “things” by 2020. The driving force is the usual suspect: the Internet of Things.
Just in time for Earth Day, chemicals leader Bayer MaterialScience reported from the UTECH Europe 2015 polyurethane show on programs and applications using its materials to help reduce energy usage. The company also gave an update on its CO2-based PU as that eco-friendly material comes closer to production.
Solar and wind energy are becoming more viable as a source of energy on the electric grid. For decades, the major drawback to solar and wind was that they’re temperamental. A cloudy day kills solar and a still day renders the wind turbines useless. Automation tools, however, are providing a path to help these renewables become practical.
In honor of Earth Day, the National Security Agency has launched the STEM Recycling Challenge in Maryland schools to encourage kids to think about where the garbage they throw out every day actually goes. The agency has also introduced “Dunk,” a muscular blue cartoon recycling bin wearing shorts and sneakers.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/31/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
5/7/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 20 - 24, Taking the Internet of Things to the Cloud
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7


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.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Proto Labs
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service