German chemists have developed two sustainable plastic alternatives to high-density polyethylene that can be chemically recycled more easily and nearly 10 times as efficiently, thanks to “break points” engineered into their molecular structures.
via Chemistry World
Plastic waste can now be efficiently converted into methane using a ruthenium-based catalyst. The patented technology could help mitigate the planet’s growing plastic waste problem while producing methane for use as a fuel or chemical feedstock in a more environmentally friendly way than fracking.
Recovering chemicals and fuel from plastic waste streams is nothing new. Processes including pyrolysis and gasification, which break down plastics using high temperatures and catalytic processes, can recover useful materials. However, these approaches create several products, including waste, and require additional processing and purification.
Read the full story here: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/catalyst-turns-mixed-plastic-waste-into-natural-gas/4013218.article
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Combining flexible and stiff materials has bestowed bamboo with a strength-to-weight ratio that rivals steel. Gradually transitioning from a soft to hard substance allows the squishy squid to slice up prey with rigid, scissor-like beaks.
With the help of a new model co-developed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, these two evolution-honed principles could eventually enable engineers to double or triple the strength of polymer-based components.
LSU Biology Sciences Professor Develops Biodegradable Mardi Gras Beads from Microalgae
BATON ROUGE – Tens of thousands of pounds of plastic Mardi Gras beads enter the environment every year. After the parades, most of the discarded beads end up in the landfill. Biologist Naohiro Kato at LSU is developing an innovative way to solve this problem by creating biodegradable Mardi Gras beads.
Read the full story here: http://www.lsu.edu/mediacenter/news/2018/02/06bio_kato_beads.php