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Archive for February, 2010

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  • "The ElBaradei Effect on Egyptian Politics" – Issandr Amrani
  • Food packaging and other disposable plastic items could soon be composted at home along with organic waste thanks to a new sugar-based polymer.

    The degradable polymer is made from sugars known as lignocellulosic biomass, which come from non-food crops such as fast-growing trees and grasses, or renewable biomass from agricultural or food waste.
    [..]
    – “For the plastic to be useful it had to be manufactured in large volumes, which was technically challenging. It took three-and-a-half years for us to hit a yield of around 80% in a low energy, low water use process,” explains Dr Williams.

    This is significant as the leading biorenewable plastic, polylactide, is formed in a high energy process requiring large volumes of water. In addition, when it reaches the end of its life polylactide must be degraded in a high-temperature industrial facility.

    In contrast, the oxygen-rich sugars in the new polymer allow it to absorb water and degrade to harmless products..

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