BPA in Plastics: Environmentalist Straw-Man?

The plastics industry makes BPA, which is the abbreviation for bisphenol A. This plastics substance has been used since the 1950s for, as Marianne Smith Edge, the International Food Information Council’s Senior Vice President of Nutrition and Food Safety, says, preventing “the corrosion of cans…It’s used to prevent contamination of foods…BPA packaging [serves] as an […]

Physics Nobel Prize 2010

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2010 was awarded jointly to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene”. Graphene is a form of carbon. As a material it is completely new – not only the thinnest ever but also the strongest. As a conductor of electricity it performs as well […]

Plastic Steel: Light and Transparent but Strong as Steel

U-M research: New plastic is strong as steel, transparent. ‘By mimicking a brick-and-mortar molecular structure found in seashells, University of Michigan researchers created a composite plastic that’s as strong as steel but lighter and transparent. It’s made of layers of clay nanosheets and a water-soluble polymer that shares chemistry with white glue. Engineering professor Nicholas […]

Polyurethane Plastics From Canola Oil

Polyurethane plastics from canola oil. ‘An intensive world-wide effort to develop technology for manufacturing plastics from vegetable oil, rather then petroleum, has led researchers in Canada to a process for making polyurethane (PUR) plastic sheets from canola oil. In a study scheduled for publication in the July 9 issue of ACS’s Biomacromolecules, a monthly journal, […]

Semi-Conducting Polymer (Polythiophene)

Chemists work on plastic promise. ‘The invention could eventually slash the cost of flat panel screens and bring electronic paper into common use. The new material can also be laid down using simple printing techniques rather than the expensive and elaborate methods used to process silicon.’ Polymer matches silicon in semi-conductor stakes.