German researchers are building what they say is the first-ever biogas pilot plant to run entirely on agricultural waste, while achieving 30% more biogas than previous facilities. This technique could create a sustainable source of energy that does
not rely on edible materials, preventing competition for food crops and land.
A hemp or flax-based bioplastic that uses 90% less sulphur has made the material suitable for consumer goods such as toys and electronics, say researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Pfinztal, Germany. At the end-of-life, the plastic can be broken down and re-pelletised.
Nanostructured materials, tailored to respond to various stimuli, may form the basis of more energy efficient chemical reactors by regulating reactions, momentum, and heat and mass transfer inside the plants. A consortium of three UK universities, Leeds, Bath and Glasgow, is in the early stages of developing this nanotechnology from molecular metal oxides and polymers.
A cheap but effective polymeric coating to repair damaged aircraft wires and prevent them from sparking and causing an explosion is available, says a chemist at the University of Dayton Research Institute, USA.