Process invented to make sustainable rubber, plastics

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Synthetic rubber and plastics — used for manufacturing tires, toys and myriad other products — are produced from butadiene, a molecule traditionally made from petroleum or natural gas. But those humanmade materials could get a lot greener soon, thanks to a team of scientists that has invented a process to make butadiene from renewable sources.

Capturing Plastics with a Purpose

Read the full post at the ACS Green Chemistry blog.

You probably have noticed that nearly everything we purchase or ship is in packaging, and often plastic packaging. But do you ever wonder what happens to packaging after you place it in the bin? At the New Materials Institute at the University of Georgia, research and business partners have come together to challenge the conventional idea that plastic products are manufactured to be used, then thrown away. The institute is a “melting pot” for ideas on materials research, manufacturing and management.

Webinar: Highly Fluorinated Chemicals: A Sticky Issue

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 11:00 AM Pacific / 2:00 PM Eastern
Register at http://greensciencepolicy.org/webinar-highly-fluorinated-chemicals-a-sticky-issue/

Learn about highly fluorinated stain and water repellant chemicals in this one-hour webinar: the products and materials in which they are used, why they can be harmful, and what can be done about it. Leaders in the field will share their expertise on this persistent and potentially toxic class of chemicals. These engaging talks were presented at February 2017 Green Science Policy meetings.

From moo to goo: Cooperating microbes convert methane to alternative fuel source

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Oil and gas wells and even cattle release methane gas into the atmosphere, and researchers are working on ways to not only capture this gas but also convert it into something useful and less-polluting.

Now scientists at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a new system to convert methane into a deep green, energy-rich, gelatin-like substance that can be used as the basis for biofuels and other bioproducts, specialty chemicals — and even feed for cows that create the gas in the first place.

“We take a waste product that is normally an expense and upgrade it to microbial biomass which can be used to make fuel, fertilizer, animal feed, chemicals and other products,” said Hans Bernstein, corresponding author of a recent paper in Bioresource Technology.

Ridding the oceans of plastics by turning the waste into valuable fuel

Read the full story at Phys.org.

Billions of pounds of plastic waste are littering the world’s oceans. Now, a Ph.D. organic chemist and a sailboat captain report that they are developing a process to reuse certain plastics, transforming them from worthless trash into a valuable diesel fuel with a small mobile reactor. They envision the technology could someday be implemented globally on land and possibly placed on boats to convert ocean waste plastic into fuel to power the vessels. The researchers will present their results today at the 253rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Top Value Added Chemicals: The Biobased Economy 12 Years Later

Read the full post at the ACS Green Chemistry blog.

In 2004, the United States Department of Energy published a landmark report titled “Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass,” in which they highlighted a dozen molecules as the most promising framework molecules that could potentially replace commonly used petroleum-based molecular building blocks. These 12 biobased value-added chemicals would provide prospective routes for everything from biofuels to less toxic paints and adhesives, which can be seen in Figure 1.  Despite the fact that these innovations took almost 13 years to garner attention and be developed on an industrial scale, these molecules now embody the promising future of the biobased economy.  The following update features four biobased chemicals with recent innovations on the market:  Itaconic Acid, Glucaric Acid, 3-Hydroxybutryolactone, and 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural.

​Turning food waste into tires

Read the full story from The Ohio State University.

Tomorrow’s tires could come from the farm as much as the factory.

Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered that food waste can partially replace the petroleum-based filler that has been used in manufacturing tires for more than a century.

In tests, rubber made with the new fillers exceeds industrial standards for performance, which may ultimately open up new applications for rubber.