Ion beam detective

Using particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) on an ion microprobe, scientists at the University of Surrey, UK were able to pick up trace volumes of gunshot residueselements, which usually go undetected by scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy.

In contact for food safety

The adoption of the Materials and Articles in Contact with Food Regulations 2008 in May increases the challenges for the packaging industry. The regulation requires a Declaration of Compliance to accompany all food contact plastics. This article examines the changes and how to comply with the new legislation.

Polymers pave the way

PET waste from bottles, cartons and yoghurt pots has been redirected from landfill and transformed into cement-free concrete paving blocks thanks to a EUREKA funded project called Sandplast.

Clean sweep for precious metals

An award-winning method for extracting precious metals such as platinium, palladium and rhodium from street waste adapts processing techniques used for primary ore extraction.

Expanded polypropylene on the move

The largest single use of expanded polypropylene (EPP) in an automotive will be unveiled in autumn 2008. The anti-submarine ramp (which keeps the passenger from sliding around during bumpy rides) in the rear seat bench of the new Volvo XC 60 is made of ARPRO, the EPP produced by manufacturer JSP, based in Minster Lovell, UK. This is estimated to reduce the car’s weight by 100kg and could cut fuel consumption by 900l over its lifetime.