Silk and cellulose are biopolymers that show strong potential as future sustainable materials. They also have complementary properties, suitable for combination in composite materials where cellulose would form the reinforcing component and silk the tough matrix. A major challenge concerns balancing structure and functional properties in the assembly process. Now Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland researchers have succeeded in overcoming this challenge.
Total Corbion PLA inaugurated the world’s second-largest polylactic acid (PLA) plant in Rayong, Thailand. This increases global production capacity for the biopolymer by almost 50%.
A team of international scientists led by the University of the Witwatersrand have developed the production of biobased sunscreen using the shells of cashew nuts that is environmentally-friendly compared with the ones currently produced from petrochemicals.
Researchers from India’s National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology have developed a compound from mango leaf that can not only protect ships from rusting. It is claimed to be far more efficient than synthetic paints while also being non-toxic and environment-friendly.
50:50 bitumen:lignin-based asphalt binder proves effective in road tests in the Netherlands [Registered]
Researchers in the Netherlands have tested roads and cycle paths that are paved with a bitumen-like product made from the natural binder lignin. These include a section of road on an industrial site – used daily by cars and heavy trucks, some minor roads, and a cycle path at Wageningen University & Research, which is in three sections, each produced using a different lignin-based bio-bitumen.
LanzaTech secures investment of US$72 million from Novo Holdings to expand its carbon capture technology [Full subscriber]
The biotech start-up LanzaTech has secured an investment of US$72 million from Novo Holdings to scale-up its production of sustainable fuels and chemicals, according to the press release from the two firms.
Brazil – Amyris partners with Raizen for the production of zero-calorie sweeteners from cane sugar [Full subscriber]
The biotech start-up Amyris recently announced that it has reached an agreement with the sugar-ethanol giant Raizen for the supply of sugar, energy and other utilities to its new planned production plant co-located with Raízen’s Barra Mill at Barra Bonita, Brazil.
Braskem recently announced the production of biobased solvent that will add to the company’s already robust portfolio of speciality chemicals and has applications in segments such as inks, thinners and adhesives.
Finland – Stora Enso invests €10 million in a pilot plant producing lignin-based materials for energy storage [Registered]
Stora Enso is investing €10 million to build a pilot facility for producing lignin-based materials that form a crucial component in batteries typically used in consumer electronics, the automotive industry and large-scale energy storage systems.