Materials and technologies - November 2018

05 December 2018

Plastic made from CO2
VTT and St1 have launched an experiment aiming to produce hydrocarbons from industrial carbon dioxide, which can be refined to fossil-free petrol, diesel and chemicals. The pilot is part of a two-year project called Bioeconomy+.
A new report from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine outlines a research agenda for improving the commercial viability of technologies that turn greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels into useful products such as chemicals. You can download the report as a guest after filling in your e-mail address.

Manufacturing: paper and bioplastics
PROVIDES, ‘PROcesses for Value added fibres by Innovative Deep Eutectic Solvents’, is a project with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions in pulp and papermaking. The first phase has been completed and this was celebrated with the publication of a booklet (2.2 MB).
An innovative filtering material may soon reduce the environmental cost of manufacturing plastic. NIST researchers created a metal-organic framework (MOF) that can extract purified ethylene from a mixture of other chemicals—while consuming far less energy than usual. An article about the research is published in Science, the abstract can be found here.
Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of technology (KIT) are examining how raw materials that do not compete with food or feed can be processed biotechnologically – i.e. straw and green waste. The aim is to produce basic components for, for example, materials such as bioplastics. An article (1.19 MB) about the research is published in Frontiers in Chemistry.
Researchers at the EPFL have developed a method that can significantly increase the yield of sugars from plants, improving the production of, for example, renewable materials. An article about the research is published in Nature Chemistry, the abstract can be found here.
TNO (in Dutch) has opened a laboratory for seaweed processing at ECN part of TNO. The opening of this laboratory is a first step towards, for example, raw materials for plastics.

Food packaging: easy emptying, edible coatings, sensors and more
Researchers at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) have developed an ultrathin PLA coating for PET resulting in easy emptying transparent food packaging applications. An article (6.24 MB) about the research is published in Coatings.
Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have published two articles. In the first article (1.98 MB), published in Thin Solid Films, compares different methods to determine the thickness of aluminium coatings applied to PET and paper by physical vapor deposition. The second is a review article (1.26 MB), published in Foods, on alginate-based edible coatings. These coatings are interesting for extending the shelf-life of fresh produce. Also published in Foods is an article (4.24 MB) on sensors for food monitoring and smart packaging by researchers at Clarkson University.
Two interesting articles were recently published in Nanomaterials. The first is a review (1.07 MB) of research findings on nanomaterials for food packaging by researchers at Xihua University. The second article (1.44 MB) is about research at the University of Zaragoza demonstrating that active packaging based on selenium nanoparticles prevents the oxidation of food. Several industrial food companies successfully tested the material.

Comparing starch polymer foams with other cushioning foams for packaging
Researchers at Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS compared starch polymer foams with the existing cushioning material foams for packaging. An article (794 kB) about the research is published in the MATEC Web of Conferences.

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