13 März 2012

New nano-catalyst could be biggest bioplastic breakthrough in three decades

Alternative to the current focus on carbohydrate or synthesis gas fermentation to alcohols and their dehydration to olefins

A new nano-catalyst being developed by chemical giants Dow could help the company commercialise a process for making traditional plastics from biomass, according to research published in the journal Science.

The new catalyst is made of tiny spheres of iron and could significantly increase the efficiency of converting synthesis gas to lower olefins.

Lower olefins are the key building blocks for manufacturing plastics, cosmetics and even pharmaceuticals. Traditionally, these molecules are produced by cracking crude oil-derived naphtha, but there is a pressing need to find alternative feedstocks and processes because of supply limitations and environmental issues.

… Full Text: http://www.nnfcc.co.uk/news/new-nano-catalyst-could-be-biggest-bioplastic-breakthrough-in-three-decades

Tags: nano-catalyst, bio-based polyethylene

Source: NNFCC, 2012-03-13.

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