Navigation Links
Stanford researchers develop biodegradable substitutes for wood, plastic bottles and other materials
Date:3/18/2009

egrades quickly, and is reprocessed into new material that stays in a nice, stable form."

Recycling methane

Unlike wood scraps that can sit in landfills for months or years, hemp-PHB biocomposites decompose a few weeks after burial. As they degrade, they release methane gas that can be captured and burned for energy recovery or re-used to make more biocomposites.

"It dawned on us that there are microbes that can make PHB from methane," Criddle said. "So now we're combining two natural processes: We're using microbes that break down PHB plastics and release methane gas, and different organisms that consume methane and produce PHB as a byproduct."

It's the ultimate in recycling, he said: "In our lab, we create conditions where only those organisms that accumulate the most plastic can reproduce. We call the process 'survival of the fattest,' and we have a patent application for it."

Capturing methane has the added benefit of combating climate change, Criddle said, noting that methane gas from landfills and other sources is a powerful global warming agent, 22 times more potent than carbon dioxide gas.

One reason that biodegradable plastics aren't widely used is cost. "We're competing with polypropylene and polyethylene, two really cheap petrochemical products," Criddle said. "Most bioplastics are made using sugar from corn and other relatively expensive materials. But our process uses methane in the biogas from landfills and wastewater treatment plants, which is essentially free."

The potential of producing low-cost, recyclable biocomposites has caught the attention of the private sector. In the next few months, the researchers expect to form a new startup company with venture capital funding.

Biodegradable bottles

Interest in the hemp-PHB biocomposites has moved beyond artificial wood products. In 2008, the research team was awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the C
'/>"/>

Contact: Mark Shwartz
mshwartz@stanford.edu
650-723-9296
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Americans remain pessimistic about the environment, Stanford-AP survey finds
2. Stanford/Packard researchers find disease genes hidden in discarded data
3. Stanford researchers say climate change will significantly increase impending bird extinctions
4. Stanfords nanowire battery holds 10 times the charge of existing ones
5. Stanford researchers publish review of US medical device regulation
6. Stanford researchers make first direct observation of 3-D molecule folding in real time
7. Stanford researchers say living corals thousands of years old hold clues to past climate changes
8. Group led by Stanford physicist says theres an urgent need for nuclear detectives
9. Stanford researchers developing 3-D camera with 12,616 lenses
10. Clues to ancestral origin of placenta emerge in Stanford study
11. Inflammation triggers cell fusions that could protect neurons, Stanford research shows
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/20/2014)... Arizona State University, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and ... isolated Mycobacterium pinnipedii from skeletons found in ... pathogen is a relative of the TB bacterium that ... today. These researchers assume that seals carried the pathogens ... sea lions was unexpected" comments Sebastien Gagneux, from the ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... Multiple fires are visible in in this image of ... Many of these were most likely intentionally set in ... of a forest or stand of trees where the ... of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, ... the dark green of the Amazon Rainforest in the ...
(Date:8/20/2014)... population-based screening outcomes of approximately 3 million infants, a ... at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, have shown ... be successfully implemented across public health newborn screening programs. ... Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the ... rate of SCID in newborns is higher than previously ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Newborn screening expansion offers early diagnosis and treatment to infants with SCID 2Newborn screening expansion offers early diagnosis and treatment to infants with SCID 3
... Source of Salmonella Contamination on Pig Farms Commercial ... commercial swine production units, according to a paper in the ... Microbiology . Moreover, nearly half of isolates found in pigs ... a source of human infection. They also strongly question the ...
... from the University of California, San Diego have ... they created an artificial environment for stem ... electrical cues necessary for stem cell growth and ... is critical for realizing the promises of stem-cell-based ...
... acoustics (the "science of sound") have over the years developed ... oceans. This week, many of these acoustic researchers will come ... April,s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to present new data on ... development that could improve our ability to detect oil in ...
Cached Biology News:Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology 2Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology 3Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology 4Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology 5Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology 6Bioengineers provide adult stem cells with simultaneous chemical, electrical and mechanical cues 2Bioengineers provide adult stem cells with simultaneous chemical, electrical and mechanical cues 3Bioengineers provide adult stem cells with simultaneous chemical, electrical and mechanical cues 4Listening for ocean spills and their ecological effects 2Listening for ocean spills and their ecological effects 3
(Date:8/19/2014)... , Aug. 19, 2014 Research and Markets ... Supplies - Global Strategic Business Report" report to their offering. ... and Tissue Culture Supplies in US$ Thousands by the following Product ... comprehensive analytics for the US, Canada , ... Asia-Pacific , and Latin America . Annual ...
(Date:8/19/2014)... August 19, 2014 XenoTech announces ... and cost-effective metabolite production from bioactive small molecules. ... platform, the technology enables convenient and timely assessment ... to XenoTech’s Vice President of Commercial Operations, Christian ... assessing clinical risk can be measured directly by ...
(Date:8/19/2014)... , Aug. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - iCo Therapeutics Inc. ... today reported results of its Oral Amphotericin B ... reservoirs.  The study, conducted by ImmuneCarta®, the immune ... vitro effectiveness of Oral Amp B in ... in individuals despite intensive treatment with antiretroviral therapy. ...
(Date:8/18/2014)... FREDERICK, Md. , Aug. 18, 2014 ... the maker of advanced consumer medical devices ... Kotak was interviewed by CEOLIVE.TV as ... The entire interview is available at ... interview Dr. Kotak explains to investors the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Global Cell and Tissue Culture Supplies - Strategic Business Report 2014 2Beyond Metabolite Identification, Testable Quantities Now Offered by XenoTech 2Beyond Metabolite Identification, Testable Quantities Now Offered by XenoTech 3iCo Therapeutics Announces Positive Oral Amphotericin B Study Results 2iCo Therapeutics Announces Positive Oral Amphotericin B Study Results 3BioElectronics EVP Dr. Deepak Kotak Interviewed on CEO Live 2BioElectronics EVP Dr. Deepak Kotak Interviewed on CEO Live 3
... (Nasdaq: MNKD ), focused on discovering, developing and,commercializing ... present at the Wachovia Healthcare Conference on January 30, ... Boston, MA., Interested parties can access a link ... Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at, http://www.mannkindcorp.com ...
... a biotechnology company discovering and developing the next wave of,antibody therapeutics, today ... year end 2007 results at 8:00 a.m. (Eastern,Time) on Tuesday, January 29, ... issued at 7:00 a.m. prior to the call., DATE: ... Tuesday, January 29, 2008, TIME: ...
... Jan. 25 AMDL, Inc. (Amex:,ADL), headquartered ... and Jilin China, through its wholly owned ... company that, together,with Jade, engages in the ... care and diagnostic products. It today,announced that ...
Cached Biology Technology:ARIUS to Hold Fourth Quarter and Year End 2007 Conference Call 2AMDL Signs 100 Strategic Cooperation Agreements in China for Its JPGreen Clinics; Gross Sales Per Each Location Could Exceed $400,000 2