Mountains of waste could lead to new US manufacturing, jobs

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Waste material from the paper and pulp industry soon could be made into anything from tennis rackets to cars. Scientists have discovered how to make high quality carbon fiber from lignin.

Got plants? Bio-based shoes, lingerie, auto parts and more

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

For all the hope of ridding our energy and transportation systems of petroleum dependence, there’s also the pesky little problem that so many materials that industry and consumers use day-to-day are made from petroleum: plastics; nylons; and fiberglass.

Lately, bio-based alternatives have begun making inroads. Now, businesses can buy durable plastic-like industrial materials without petroleum-based polymers. And consumers can — and do — buy grocery bags, cups, forks and spoons that act like plastic but are biodegradable and compostable. They can even buy soft, washable fabrics that seem like nylon but are made of plants and biodegrade. Even shoemakers are walking in this direction: Adidas AG’s Reebok unit is manufacturing a corn-based sneaker for sale later this year.

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.

Nike, Circular Economy Firm Miniwiz Develop Sustainable Packaging from Trash

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Nike has developed new sustainable packaging for its shoes, working in collaboration with Arthur Huang, the CEO and founder of Taiwanese firm Miniwiz, which recycles consumer and industrial waste into new products.

The lightweight packaging is made entirely of post-consumer materials such as milk and orange juice containers, and morning coffee lids. The box is produced from a single process Polypropylene with no added chemicals. The modular design allows it to be used as a stackable, interlocking component of a product display or storage system, Nike says.

How Maker Mindsets Can Be An Easy Fit For Rural Schools

Read the full story from KQED.

The maker movement has expanded greatly in recent years and much of the attention has focused on cities with high population density and large well-funded school districts. In rural districts, teachers are also developing maker projects to help students gain the benefits that come from hands-on experiences, while better understanding the needs of their communities.

Take for instance the work being done by Brock Hamill at Corvallis High School in Montana. The students in his science class construct air sensors and analyze data in a way that helps address a problem unique to their community. Air pollution poses a problem for that region of Montana because of nearby forest fires and, in the winter, use of wood-burning stoves.

​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.

First 100 Percent Recyclable Carpet: A Sign of Hope In a Wasteful Industry

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Mohawk’s new Airo line is the first to meet the long-stated, lofty recycling goals of one of America’s most wasteful industries. Whether it will herald a shift toward a circular economy for carpets, though, remains to be seen.