Better Living Through Green Chemistry  

Posted by Big Gav

Martin at Deep Green Crystals has a post on the environmentally friendly chemistry behind the new wave of green surfboards. The Eden Project in England is also getting into the green surfing idea, helping some Cornish boardmakers produce a biofoam board called the Eco Board.

When the Clark Foam company unexpectedly shut down in December 2005 because of environmental reasons, some said it spelled doom for the surfing industry. Many thought the price of surfboards would double because the limited supply of polyurethane foam blanks, which serve as the lightweight core of a standard surfboard, would cause production to tank.

But the industry's future now looks greener than ever.

Chuck Menzel of Ventura, Calif., has invented a recipe for biofoam, which is nearly 50 percent plant-based. Made from renewable agricultural resources, biofoam does not contain any toxic materials known to be harmful to the environment or people, said Menzel, owner of Ventura-based WetSand, an international online surf shop, that is preparing to open its first retail store.

Biofoam is like a regular foam blank, but its cell structure is denser, and petroleum-based polyol has been replaced with organic and domestic soy polyol. Biofoam boards, which hit some surf shops earlier this year, will cost an average of $500 to $700.

There are an estimated 700 to 800 biofoam boards out there, said Ned McMahon, general manager of the Homeblown US manufacturing plant in San Diego. The company makes and sells foam blanks to surfboard shapers. Menzel has licensed the formula for biofoam blanks to Homeblown US, which launched production Feb. 1. About 500 biofoam blanks are produced per month.

Many foam blank manufacturers were apprehensive when Menzel pitched biofoam, but the concept was well received by Homeblown US. "It's what needs to happen. It's just the necessary steps to move forward," McMahon said. "We play in the ocean -- that's what our whole lives are based around." The biofoam is the first step toward something more environmentally friendly, but "it's not the Holy Grail," McMahon said.

The soy polyol has 25 percent to 30 percent less environmental impact than the petroleum-based product, McMahon said. "We go surfing on a pretty toxic piece of mess," McMahon said. "They don't biodegrade; you can't recycle them. It's not sustainable, not very green." In Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and San Francisco, "everyone wants a biofoam board," McMahon said.



Chemicals and plastics are a fairly integral part of traditional peak oil mythology, as they are mostly produced using oil as the primary raw material, leading to the conclusion that as we pass the peak the shrinking availability and rising price of oil will cause a reduction in supply of these products (and hence the collapse of industrial civilisation shortly thereafter).

There seem to be 3 obvious approaches to dealing with this scenario:

1. Substitute - other materials (use more cardboard and paper packaging for example, and stop using disposable eating utensils and go back to using metal ones - many other items currently made with plastic can also be made with wood or metal).
2. Recycle - Plastics can be recycled (and converted back to oil and gas for that matter, though the net energy benefit of this is debatable)
3. Bioplastics - Use carbohydrates instead of hydrocarbons.

By and large, subsititution would often seem to be a good thing in terms of reducing the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills (and in the oceans), though there are drawbacks like the extra effort and cost required to make objects out of materials that can't simply be injection moulded the way plastics can.

The Guardian recently had an article on a novel form of substitution for plastics - "Popcorn packaging".
In the world of cosmetics, packaging is king. Who would buy half the products available if it wasn't for the beautiful bottles and boxes they came wrapped in? Lush has long bucked this trend - selling bath bombs and soaps lose, and putting handcreams and body lotions in plain black tubs. It's not always very glamorous but it is greener.

As well as improving existing containers, so they break down quicker after use, the company has introduced a new innovation to its packaging: popcorn. The popcorn is 60% lighter than the shredded paper it uses now, which means it takes 10% less energy to transport. The energy needed to produce the popcorn is on a par with that used to shred the paper, but the popcorn is cleaner so there is not need to wrap the products being transported - a move that Lush says will save 4.6m bags a year. And once you've unpacked the box you can put the popcorn in your compost bin - if you have one - where it will completely breakdown. If you don't yet have a compost, details are included in the box.



Plastic recycling seems to be quite a long way along the acceptance curve now - most local councils down here, for example, have special recycling bins for each household to dispose of their plastics in and they are then dispatched onwards to be fed into the recycling process. The Economist's recent article on recycling noted that Europe is targetting more than 20% of plastic to be recycled by then end of next year (they also pondered the "price of virtue' - ie. the cost of recycling - as is their wont).
More generally, one of the biggest barriers to more efficient recycling is that most products were not designed with recycling in mind. Remedying this problem may require a complete rethinking of industrial processes, says William McDonough, an architect and the co-author of a book published in 2002 called “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things”. Along with Michael Braungart, his fellow author and a chemist, he lays out a vision for establishing “closed-loop” cycles where there is no waste. Recycling should be taken into account at the design stage, they argue, and all materials should either be able to return to the soil safely or be recycled indefinitely. This may sound like wishful thinking, but Mr McDonough has a good pedigree. Over the years he has worked with companies including Ford and Google.

An outgrowth of “Cradle to Cradle” is the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a non-profit working group that has developed guidelines that look beyond the traditional benchmarks of packaging design to emphasise the use of renewable, recycled and non-toxic source materials, among other things. Founded in 2003 with just nine members, the group now boasts nearly 100 members, including Target, Starbucks and Estée Lauder, some of which have already begun to change the design of their packaging.

Sustainable packaging not only benefits the environment but can also cut costs. Last year Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, announced that it wanted to reduce the amount of packaging it uses by 5% by 2013, which could save the company as much as $3.4 billion and reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 667,000 tonnes. As well as trying to reduce the amount of packaging, Wal-Mart also wants to recycle more of it. Two years ago the company began to use an unusual process, called the “sandwich bale”, to collect waste material at its stores and distribution centres for recycling. It involves putting a layer of cardboard at the bottom of a rubbish compactor before filling it with waste material, and then putting another layer of cardboard on top. The compactor then produces a “sandwich” which is easier to handle and transport, says Jeff Ashby of Rocky Mountain Recycling, who invented the process for Wal-Mart. As well as avoiding disposal costs for materials it previously sent to landfill, the company now makes money by selling waste at market prices.

Evidently there is plenty of scope for further innovation in recycling. New ideas and approaches will be needed, since many communities and organisations have set high targets for recycling. Europe's packaging directive requires member states to recycle 60% of their glass and paper, 50% of metals and 22.5% of plastic packaging by the end of 2008. Earlier this year the European Parliament voted to increase recycling rates by 2020 to 50% of municipal waste and 70% of industrial waste. Recycling rates can be boosted by charging households and businesses more if they produce more rubbish, and by reducing the frequency of rubbish collections while increasing that of recycling collections.

Meanwhile a number of cities and firms (including Wal-Mart, Toyota and Nike) have adopted zero-waste targets. This may be unrealistic but Matt Hale, director of the office of solid waste at America's Environmental Protection Agency, says it is a worthy goal and can help companies think about better ways to manage materials. It forces people to look at the entire life-cycle of a product, says Dr Hale, and ask questions: Can you reduce the amount of material to begin with? Can you design the product to make recycling easier?

If done right, there is no doubt that recycling saves energy and raw materials, and reduces pollution. But as well as trying to recycle more, it is also important to try to recycle better. As technologies and materials evolve, there is room for improvement and cause for optimism. In the end, says Ms Krebs, “waste is really a design flaw.”

Bioplastics have been much in the news lately, with a fairly steady stream of announcements about new processes and products. At this point they still comprise just a tiny fraction of the overall market (according to Wikipedia, "Because of the fragmentation in the market it is difficult to estimate the total market size for bioplastics, but estimates by SRI Consulting put global consumption in 2006 at around 85,000 tonnes. In contrast, global consumption of all flexible packaging is estimated at around 12.3 million tonnes."), so there is a long way to go in this area.

Bioplastics will also tend to have the same problem as most biofuels, in that they are competing with food production for basic resources, and will thus tend to drive the price of food up even further than the current ethanol craze is doing (with obvious ramifications for the third world and the poor in general). This also applies to the "popcorn packaging" idea mentioned earlier for that matter.

The best approach for dealing with this (besides the substitution and recycling options) is similar to the approaches Amory Lovins talks about for dealing with the biofuels problem - redesign products so they need less bioplastic, and produce the bioplastic by harvesting from polyculture, perennial crops like switchgrass grown on non-agricultural land.

BusinessWeek recently had a look at the push from Japan to use more bioplastic - "NEC Pushes Plastics Made From Crops", asking "The Japanese electronics maker says it's close to a bioplastics breakthrough. But can greener gadgets be good for earnings?".
Masatoshi Iji isn't a natural pitchman. So when the NEC researcher offers a low-tech demonstration of how his "eco-plastic" is made, it's not all polish. Iji instructs an assistant to spoon fine wheat-colored fibers into a funnel. The fibers drop into a shoebox-sized oven, which then spits a gooey substance resembling toothpaste into a trough of water. Within seconds, the paste hardens into plastic.

Or at least something that looks and feels like plastic. The difference is that Iji's invention is made not from petrochemicals but almost entirely from corn and the hemp-like fibers of a kenaf plant. And unlike many plastics made from fossil fuels, Iji's bioplastic is biodegradable. "It depends on the product, but we can make it so it decomposes after seven or eight years," says the 51-year-old Iji.

As scientific breakthroughs go, bioplastics—or polymers made from crops and other natural sources—haven't lived up to the hype. Henry Ford, an early promoter, developed a way of producing car parts from soybeans but gave up when World War II broke out. And while other carmakers such as Toyota Motor and Mazda Motor have dabbled with bioplastics, none has made anything but spare-tire covers and other noncore parts. Today, bioplastics remain a fraction of the $130 billion global plastics business and account for an estimated 5% or less of total annual plastics output. Much of that output is still used for short-use purposes, such as food packaging and disposable utensils.

The Materials Attraction

Still, NEC executives believe they are on the verge of a breakthrough. In many ways, their bet on bioplastics reflects an industry shift toward building greener gadgetry. These days every top tech manufacturer is investing in eco-friendly innovations. It's a reversal from the days when companies were under fire from environmentalists who raised the alarm about toxic junkyards filled with mounds of used computers, printers, and TVs. New recycling laws and bioplastics guidelines in Japan as well as tighter restrictions on toxic substances in Europe and other countries have forced companies to clean up their act.

NEC isn't the first Japanese tech company to use bioplastics in commercial products; that distinction belongs to Fujitsu (FJTSF) and Sony (SNE). (Matsushita Electric Industrial (MC), Toshiba (TOSBF), Ricoh (RICOF), and Fuji Xerox are not far behind.) Why even bother? After all, NEC isn't a materials maker. It specializes in networking equipment and consumer electronics and builds some of the world's speediest supercomputers. Recently, the $38 billion company has had enough other problems—flat profits, overdependence on its home market—that stretching itself even thinner doesn't seem like a solution.

But NEC is determined to carry on. By 2010, NEC predicts 10% of its products will contain bioplastics. So far NEC has used bioplastics sparingly—as an insert for an empty wireless-card port on laptops three years ago and for the outer shell of a cell phone last year. One reason: cost. It's at least twice as expensive to use bioplastics as traditional petroleum-based plastics. ...

Disillusionment was the inspiration for Iji's invention. After coming to NEC's labs from a small plastics maker in 1990, Iji's first job was improving recycling technology for plastics. But he quickly became frustrated. "I realized that no matter how good the recycling technology was, the plastics we were using would never be 100% recyclable," he says. He blamed flame retardants and other additives that make plastics more heat-resistant and durable but also bad for the environment.

Urban sprawl fed Iji's environmental streak. He grew up on the outskirts of Tokyo surrounded by lush forests, but the trees were later cleared to make way for homes and apartment buildings, and that got Iji thinking about greener substitutes for plastics. In the mid-1990s, Iji began secretly experimenting with nontoxic flame retardants. Within two years, he showed a prototype to his boss and got funding to research bioplastics. ...

It's debatable whether bioplastics are even environmentally friendly. The perception that they are a greener option than petroleum-based plastics may be true if the material decomposes quickly, as Iji says his does. But designing bioplastics that hold up during the life of a product and then break down the moment you bury them is tricky. "Many bioplastic products, particularly packaging, are promoted and marketed as 'compostable,'" says Sara Ver Bruggen, editor-in-chief at IntertechPira, a publisher of plastics-industry news and reports. "But in reality very few countries have the infrastructure to compost them. The majority [of bioplastics] end up in landfill."

And because bioplastics use material from plants, they often require more energy to process than traditional plastics, says Tillman Gerngross, a professor at Dartmouth College, who has published papers on the effects. "The common view that bioplastics are good for the environment is incorrect," says Gerngross. Bioplastics "don't solve any environmental problems but in fact exacerbate issues related to air and water pollution."

Another criticism: Bioplastics are made from crops. With the United Nations estimating that 854 million people suffer from hunger worldwide, it's hard to imagine that fertile land should be used to make TVs and PCs rather than to produce food for the hungry. Says Bob Davenport at SRI Consulting, a market researcher in Menlo Park, Calif., "For all plastics, or even a substantial portion, to come from crops, there would have to be some kind of breakthrough."

Researchers at New York’s Polytechnic University have announced they have bioengineered a plastic that can be converted into biodiesel and is trying to commercialise the process with DARPA funding - which Wired's Noah Shachtman labelled "Darpa's Adventures in Trash".
Take plastic wrap. Add tap water. Get fuel.

That's the idea behind Darpa-funded research, to turn what would have been waste into diesel that can be used to run Humvees, tanks, and Bradleys. And if it works out as planned, the plastic conversion could solve two of the armed force's most vexing logistical problems.

Og_can You see, military bases today produce an enormous amount of trash -- more than 7 pounds per day, per soldier. A big stinkin' pile of "personnel, fuel, and critical transport equipment are needed to support the removal and disposal" of that waste, Darpa notes. What's more, making those transportation runs is ridiculously expensive; the Office of Naval Research figures fuel on the battlefield costs up to $400 per gallon.

So Darpa has given Dr. Richard Gross, a professor of chemistry at Brooklyn's Polytechnic University, more than $2 million to morph "plant oils, of the kind already used to make biodiesel, into 'bioplastic.' The plastics can be films or rigid, as are commonly found in food packaging. Then he uses a naturally occurring enzyme to break down the plastic into fuel," the Times reports.
“It works in very mild conditions, lukewarm tap water,” he said. The enzyme, cutinase, is present in nature, made by parasites to eat through the shiny surfaces of tree leaves, so the parasite can suck nutrients out of the inner parts.

A gene-splicing company, DNA 2.0, has taken some of the DNA from that parasite and spliced it into an e. coli bacterium, to mass produce the enzyme. The e. coli was chosen because it reproduces more readily than the original parasite.

Conversion begins with shredding the plastic. An office paper shredder will do, Dr. Gross said. Then the shreds are immersed in water with a small amount of the enzyme. In three days to five days, the process is complete, and the biodiesel floats to the top.

Jeremy Faludi at WorldChanging had a good roundup of what is happening in the world of Green Chemistry not that long ago as well.
You can't do green design without green materials, and material innovations tend to come from chemists. Chemists also produce many products in their own right: paints, adhesives, cleaning products, whole industries. So what are chemists doing to save the world?

There's currently one famous green chemist in the world: Michael Braungart (founder of EPEA, co-founder of McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry and co-author of Cradle to Cradle). The world needs about a hundred more.

We've written before about legislation (mostly in the EU) tightening standards for toxics, and about the huge strides needed to close today's three critical gaps: knowledge (not only in the general public and governments, but in the chemical industry itself), safety (prioritizing hazards and enacting limits), and technology (developing safer, greener alternatives). But legislation can be slow and fickle, and the industry has a huge amount of inertia; many well-funded groups such as the American Chemistry Council lobby for the status-quo. What are chemists doing to lead?

They're doing a lot of things, as it turns out. Some researchers are developing alternative plastics that don't use petrochemicals, some associations are prioritizing green within their members, whole green-chem institutes are being founded, and groups are trying to teach chemists to green their processes. Sustainable chemistry is a baby, born thirty years ago but just now starting to crawl; let's help it get up on its feet.

Greener Plastics

What if that “new car smell” were the smell of fresh-baked potatoes or toasted corn? In the last five years, several bio-plastics manufacturers have come to market, and more are in the lab. Rodenburg Biopolymers in the Netherlands makes potato-starch plastic for disposable cutlery and packaging, and several companies in China sell corn-starch or potato-starch cutlery; enough that it has a buzzword, "spudware". NatureWorks PLA has a solid enough toe-hold in the market to be old news to many. A less-well-known competitor is PHA by Mechabolix. PHA has much better engineering properties than PLA (you can't make a cell phone case out of pure PLA, but you could make it out of PHA); however, it has two serious downsides. According to this excellent year 2000 Scientific American article (re-posted on mindfully.org), manufacturing PHA "would consume even more fossil resources than most petrochemical manufacturing routes." The second downside is that manufacturing it cheaply requires genetic modification of the corn crops.

Last year, Richard Wool at the University of Delaware created chicken feather and soy composite circuit boards. Not only do they replace the non-recyclable, energy-intensive fiberglass and epoxy materials, they are "a lighter, stronger, cheaper product with high-speed electronic properties." This is especially relevant because the circuit board often has the highest ecological impact of any part in a computer or other consumer electronics device--more than the plastic case, and sometimes more than the electronic components on the board. The chicken feather / soy composite could also be used as a structural material for other applications. For years, the university's ACRES team (Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources) has been researching different chemical pathways and feedstocks to determine the highest-performance and lowest-cost ways of making plastic out of soy.

Perhaps the most exciting is making plastic that sequesters CO2. Two years ago, Geoff Coates's lab at Cornell University developed a polystyrene-like plastic made out of CO2 and orange peels. Now he has a small startup company, Novomer, to commercialize it. As his Cornell group website says, "Although it is estimated that Nature uses CO2 to make over 200 billion tons of glucose by photosynthesis each year, synthetic chemists have had embarrassing little success in developing efficient catalytic processes that exploit this attractive raw material." The pages go on to describe the catalysts they found, which allowed them to achieve their breakthroughs. Keep an eye out in the next couple years for PLC (Polylimonene Carbonate), as well as the other polymers and catalysts that Novomer is making. ...

Currently there is little more than a trickle-down of green chemistry knowledge between companies, governments, NGOs, and universities. Companies' chemical information is proprietary, and many environmental impacts have never been measured, much less publicized. Some universities and government agencies have data on a few specific chemicals, but lack a centralized clearinghouse of information. MBDC may have the best database of chemical environmental data, but it is private and expensive information. Opening up the faucets of these knowledge flows, and getting them all in one tub big enough to splash in, may be the most important step for the industry right now. Several groups are trying to crank the taps.

Britain's Chemistry Innovation Network has a roadmap for sustainable technologies, including trends and drivers, specific needs of the industry, the business case, a review of technologies, and case studies. These are aimed at everyone in the chemical industry. UC Berkeley's Framework for California Leadership in Green Chemistry Policy recommends policy directions for lawmakers. For consumers, the Ecology Center put together a consumer guide to toxic chemicals in cars, HealthyCar.org. The site ranks over 200 vehicles in terms of indoor air quality, as well as rating child car seats for brominated flame retardants, and explaining what chemicals to be concerned with and why.

Chemists looking to learn should check out the EPA's 2002 textbook, Green Engineering: Environmentally Conscious Design of Chemical Processes. There's also a newer EPA tool, the downloadable Green Chemistry Expert System. It's a piece of software that "allows users to build a green chemical process, design a green chemical, or survey the field of green chemistry." For a less technical introduction, they have a web page listing their Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry:

1. Prevent waste
2. Design safer chemicals and products
3. Design less hazardous chemical syntheses
4. Use renewable feedstocks
5. Use catalysts, not stoichiometric reagents
6. Avoid chemical derivatives
7. Maximize atom economy
8. Use safer solvents and reaction conditions:
9. Increase energy efficiency
10. Design chemicals and products to degrade after use
11. Analyze in real time to prevent pollution
12. Minimize the potential for accidents

Most of these principles are aimed at being less bad. Michael Braungart argues convincingly that we need to shoot higher than that, we need to aim to be good. Zero is not a positive outcome. But some of them are positive goals, and for those that aren't, even if less-bad is as good as we can do for now, we need to keep a longer-term positive goal in mind. ...

The Future of Chemistry

Will the chemical market start to go green by itself, as a few industries are starting to do? Not yet. Michael Wilson, a researcher at UC Berkeley, told me that "green chemistry entrepreneurs have a difficult time breaking into the market because there are fundamental data gaps in chemical toxicity that prevent buyers from choosing safer chemicals... The market is therefore operating very inefficiently and will require corrections through public policy." He said "by requiring that producers generate and distribute standardized, robust information on chemical toxicity (for use by downstream industry, business, consumers, workers) we will open new markets for green chemistry entrepreneurs." This is the knowledge gap mentioned at the beginning, which the groups described above are working to close.

Wilson was hopeful about green chemistry entrepreneurs he knows, which "have some brilliant products supported by solid data - that reduce costs significantly and also make a substantial environmental contribution." (For instance, Advanced Biocatalytics, and Novozyme.)

The New York Times also had a look at bioplastics earlier in the year, noting the New Bioplastics Are For More Than Just Forks.
MEG SOBKOWICZ was on a fast career track in the oil industry. A bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Columbia landed her a job at Schlumberger running wireline logs on oil wells in New Mexico. Next stop was to be Casper, Wyo., the heart of the interior West’s oil and gas boom. But she jumped off the track.

“I knew that working in the oil industry was not in sync with my values,” said Ms. Sobkowicz, 28. “I wanted something with an alternative-energy connection.”

Now, as a doctoral student at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Ms. Sobkowicz is one of a growing number of chemists who are developing bio-based plastics that can supplant those made from oil. Ms. Sobkowicz is working on improving the durability of plastics derived from corn and other plants, developing nanoscale fibers from cotton to reinforce them.

Bioplastics can offer several benefits: reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the production process, minimizing toxic waste in the environment and promoting rural economic development by using local crops. They can also be biodegradable.

While disposable cutlery, food packaging and even fabrics made from corn have been on the market for several years, companies are now moving toward applications where performance, heat resistance and durability are more important. These applications typically require that biopolymers be reinforced with kenaf fiber (similar to jute) or other fillers.

Products based on durable biopolymers have begun appearing in the marketplace. Japanese companies like NEC Corporation, Unitika and NTT DoCoMo are manufacturing cellphones with casings made from bioplastics. Toyota Motor Corporation uses bioplastic reinforced with kenaf for the rear package tray in its Lexus ES300 model.

The largest commercial producer of bioplastic is NatureWorks, which is owned by the food-processing giant Cargill. The company’s plant, in Blair, Neb., uses corn sugar to produce polylactide plastic packaging materials and its Ingeo-brand fibers. It churns out white pellets that other manufacturers use.

The second largest biopolymer producer is Metabolix of Cambridge, Mass. It makes a different form of polymer for applications ranging from rigid molded items to flexible film for shopping or garbage bags.

Metabolix claims that its plastics are biodegradable in such varied environments as backyard composting bins, wetlands and the ocean itself. (According to the Biodegradable Products Institute, bioplastics should decompose into carbon dioxide and water in a “controlled composting environment” — a municipal facility, for instance — in under 90 days.)

“A lot of bio-based products are tossed out like cigarette butts, and for various reasons never decompose,” said James J. Barber, Metabolix’s chief executive. “I can’t conceive of a system that’s so perfect that none of this stuff will escape into nature. For the stuff that does escape, we’re a backstop, ensuring that it won’t last thousands of years.”

There is some great parahistory about Henry Ford and bioplastics (or "chemurgy"), but as I've run out of time tonight I'll leave that for another post (which means this is one of those rare occasions I've failed to introduce any bizarre political rants or conspiracy theories into the mix - hope you enjoyed the change of pace).

More Links :

* Materials Guru - Strong Growth Projections for Bioplastic Film Packaging
* Discovery News - Potatoes: The Next Plastic?
* The Energy Blog - Mirel Bioplastic Plant Announced by Metabolix and ADM
* Biopact - Nanoparticle additive makes PLA based bioplastics stronger
* Red Herring - Braskem: Plastic Alchemy
* TreeHugger - The Greening of Plastics
* TreeHugger - Using Maple Syrup To Make Bioplastics
* TreeHugger - Mazda Develops High-Strength Heat Resistant Bioplastic
* TreeHugger - Best of the Bioplastics
* TreeHugger - Bioplastic Toys for Bringing Up Baby Right and Just Maybe Less Obese
* MarketWire - BioSolar Lays Out Development Plan to Produce Unique Bio-Plastic Material to Reduce Cost of Solar Cells
* The Plastic Spork Blog - Fujitsu Bioplastic Notebook Computer
* Triple Pundit - Wal-Mart Goes Green(er) with Bio Plastic Containers
* Venture Beat - Khosla invests $15M into eco-friendly chemistry company, Segetis
* Inside Greentech - Dow and Crystalsev to make bioplastic in Brazil
* Inside Greentech - New starch-based plastic on the way from Alcoa and Cereplast
* Technology Review - Plastic That Heals Itself

2 comments

Anonymous   says 7:00 AM

hey Big Gav-
Not a comment, but-
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By the way, thanks for all your hard work. I read real fast, and I couldn't read all the stuff you go through in a day and get anything else done. You and Leanan and Stoneleigh amaze me.
Thanks a lot.
dave m

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