Friday, May 31, 2013

No. 724: A technology helpful to make high quality plastics from scrap wood and wood debris (May 31, 2013)

Researchers from Kobe University, Mitsui Chemical, and Nippon Shokubai developed a technology helpful to make high quality plastics from scarp wood and wood debris. By the recombination of bacterial gene, the new technology can extract specific type of lactic acid that is the raw material of plastics at about four times higher efficiency than the existing technology.

Several types of lactic acids exist, and two types of lactic acids, L type and D type, are helpful to make highly durable plastics. The net technology extracts cellulose and hemicellulose after processing wood debris by chemical, and makes lactic acid using lactic acid bacteria. L-lactic acid is easy to make, but D-lactic acid is hard to make. The new technology makes D-lactic acid alone by recombining the genes of lactic acid bacteria. The researchers plan to put the new technology into practical use in five years to spread bioplastics.  

Tableware made from corn

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