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Petrochemicals – News and Features

The underside of a pink mushroom

Mushroom Eco-Leather: The Next Step for Sustainable Fashion?

While there is demand within the fashion industry for vegan alternatives to leather, there are few sustainable options that can match current commercial needs. Now, a new production method could help to make mushroom-based leather a realistic option.
A tractor towing a container of fertilizer across a field.

New Method Reveals Heavy Metals in Fertilizer

Toxic metals in mineral phosphate fertilizers have been identified by a new tool that also outlines their impact on soil, water resources and food supply.
A 3D Printer.

Recyclable Bio-Sourced Resin Offers a Sustainable Future for 3D Printing

A Birmingham-led team has produced a photopolymer resin that can be printed at high resolution, broken down to its constituent parts, recycled and reprinted.
The process of an oil clean up with electron microscope images.

Laser-Treated Cork Absorbs Oil for Carbon-Neutral Ocean Cleanup

In Applied Physics Letters, by AIP Publishing, researchers used laser treatments to transform ordinary cork into a powerful tool for treating oil spills.
Bacteria and molecules.

Engineering Bacteria to Produce Green Chemicals from Methanol

Methanol can be synthesised from carbon dioxide and water using renewable energy. When this green methanol is metabolised by specialised bacteria, a variety of chemical substances can be biotechnologically produced.
A windfarm.

Wind Farms More Land Efficient Than Previously Thought

Decision-makers have been reluctant to invest in wind energy due to a perception that wind farms require a lot of land compared to electric power plants driven by fossil fuels. Research led by McGill University paints a very different picture.
A pile of grain used in brewing.

Researchers Extract Protein From Spent Beer Grains

Researchers have created a method that extracts over 80 percent of the available protein in grain leftovers from brewing beer, helping to reduce waste.
A scientist in a lab.

Researchers Discover Path to More Environmentally Friendly Plastics

FAMU-FSU College of Engineering researchers have created a potential alternative to traditional petroleum-based plastic that is made from carbon dioxide (CO2) and lignin, a component of wood that is a low-cost byproduct of paper manufacturing and biofuel production.
A fractured stick of lactic acid with added ultra-high molecular weight LAHB and a stick of pure polylactic acid.

Engineered Bacteria Produce Biodegradable Plastic

Engineered bacteria can produce a plastic modifier that makes renewably sourced plastic more processable, more fracture resistant and highly biodegradable even in sea water.
A tree in a field.

Method Developed To Make Common Painkiller From Trees

Scientists at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have developed a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable way to make a popular pain reliever and other valuable products from plants instead of petroleum.