• Nanotechnology Turns Plants into Common Plastic
    25 replies, posted
[release] LONDON (Reuters) - Dutch scientists have found a way of turning plant matter into the building blocks of common plastics using a nanotechnology process that offers an alternative to oil-based production. The team from Utrecht University and Dow Chemical Co produced ethylene and propylene - precursors of materials found in everything from CDs to carrier bags and carpets - after developing a new kind of iron catalyst made of nanoparticles. Existing bioplastics, which are made from crops such as corn and sugar, have only limited use as they are not exact substitutes for oil-based products. The new system, by contrast, produces chemicals that are the same as those made in petrochemical works, allowing them to be used in a wide range of industries. This also means they will not be biodegradable, although they will be made from renewable resources. Researcher Krijn De Jong and his colleagues envisage using non-food sources of biomass for the new process, such as fast-growing trees or grasses, rather than traditional crops, in order to reduce competition for resources between food and fuel. Plastics made from biomass could, however, be vulnerable to the same criticism that has beset biofuel production. Critics say the production of some biofuels can occupy land that would otherwise be used for agricultural purposes, thus limiting food and water resources for a rapidly rising world population. Some biofuel production could also increase carbon emissions, especially if rainforests are cut down to facilitate production. The research by De Jong and his colleagues, which was published Thursday in the journal Science, is still at an early stage. It now requires larger-scale testing and pilot projects, so it will not reach the market for several years. RISING DEMAND Diminishing reserves of fossil fuels and rising greenhouse gas emissions suggest there should be increased demand for bioplastics. But that argument could be disrupted by recent vast finds of shale gas, which now provide a cheap alternative feedstock for ethylene in the United States. The Dutch-designed catalysts consist of tiny nanoparticles separated from each other on carbon nanofibers. In laboratory tests, the catalysts proved highly effective at converting biomass-derived synthesis gas - a mix for hydrogen and carbon monoxide - in ethylene and propylene. Importantly, the process worked without producing large amounts of methane, an unwanted byproduct of another catalytic process using large iron particles. The team now plan to increase catalyst production by linking with experts from Johnson Matthey, the world's largest supplier of catalytic converters for vehicles. Nanotechnology, which involves designing and manufacturing materials on the scale of one-billionth of a meter, is a rapidly expanding area of materials science with applications in medicine, electronics and coatings.[/release] [url]http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=nanotechnology-turns-plants-into-co[/url] FUCK YES
But can we turn plastic into trees?
[QUOTE=imptastick;34775550]But can we turn plastic into trees?[/QUOTE] YES MAYBE
[QUOTE=imptastick;34775550]But can we turn plastic into trees?[/QUOTE] Or alternatively, can we turn trees into oil?
So we arent fucked in two placed when the oil runs out
I just saw my future occupation being increasingly more important and rewarding... I like it..
[QUOTE=Zerohope;34775753]I just saw my future occupation being increasingly more important and rewarding... I like it..[/QUOTE]Plant farmer?
-snippy wuz here-
They've found a number of ways to make plastics without fossil fuels in recent years. Solves one half of the oil dependency dilemma; at least we'll still be able to have iPhones but stationary cars when the oil runs out :v:
You guys are way too hyped over something you won't see.
[QUOTE=Cone;34775800]Nanotechnology is kind of scary from all the things it can do. All the potential contained within falling into the wrong hands could be disasterous. At the moment, it's sorta like giving a baby a gun and seeing if he'll shoot a burglar or himself.[/QUOTE] ? I think you are confusing it with nanobots or something.
[QUOTE=taipan;34775830]? I think you are confusing it with nanobots or something.[/QUOTE] You know what, I think I am.
[QUOTE=imptastick;34775550]But can we turn plastic into trees?[/QUOTE] [img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5636656/0_61_fake_tree_pink.jpg[/img]
[QUOTE=Delrainn;34775813]You guys are way too hyped over something you won't see.[/QUOTE] No one seems to be too hyped here, what are you talking about?
Awesome I really do hope that this gets the support to get off the ground and be used by the modern world, there was a person that turned plastic into kerosene will this be able to do the same thing if so then we have a renewable source of energy.
No way the oil companies will let this ride, and if they do, it'll be expensive as fuck as to not affect the price of a barrel.
We are kinda approaching the saturation point for food production vs people. Given how the conversion rate works out for things like this normally (Vast amounts of land for little actual plastic), it might still wind up being wayyyy in our favor to use oil, unfortunately.
Nano technology, reminds me of red alert with the japanese.
[QUOTE=AceOfDivine;34775912]No one seems to be too hyped here, what are you talking about?[/QUOTE] [QUOTE=Elfy;34775482]IWOWOWO WOWNO NOWOOWOWOWOWWOWOWOWOWOWOOWWO YESYEYSEYSEYYYSESYSYSYSYSEYSYESEY[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=imptastick;34775550]But can we turn plastic into trees?[/QUOTE] [video=youtube;NUJP0BwWB5Q]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUJP0BwWB5Q[/video]
I hope we find a cheap way to synthesize oil. I don't ever want to stop seeing classic cars on the road. :(
It would be funny if the only plant that can be utilized for this method would be Cannabis.
[QUOTE=Steven :D;34778284]It would be funny if the only plant that can be utilized for this method would be Cannabis.[/QUOTE] How
Those artificial plants in the dentist's office are suddenly a slight bit more greener than before.
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