Tuesday, May 31, 2022

A new way to break down PET plastics



Since the discovery of LCC, researchers like Sonnendecker have been looking for new PET-eating enzymes in nature. LCC is good, they say, but it has limitations. It is fast for what it is, but it still takes days to break down PET and the reactions have to occur at very high temperatures.

Other scientists and researchers have been trying to figure out how to engineer LCC to make it more efficient.

A French company called Carbios is doing that. They are engineering LCC to create a faster, more efficient enzyme.

Elsewhere, researchers at the University of Texas in Austin have created a PET-eating protein using a machine learning algorithm. They say their protein can degrade PET plastic in 24 hours.


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The search continues, but they're finding better and better tools to degrade PET plastic!


Thursday, May 5, 2022

a new way to recycle plastic



The fact that PET plastic can be turned back into virgin plastic is a big deal.

“This has advantages over traditional belt recycling,” Hal Alper, professor in chemical engineering and author on the paper, told Vice. “If you were to melt the plastic and then remold it, you’d start to lose the integrity of the plastic each round that you go through with recycling.”

This new method, however, can be used to make “virgin PET plastic each and every time,” Alper added.

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This is only for PET plastic, and they don't know yet how to ramp it up commercially, but it's a good hope.


Sunday, April 24, 2022

drones are coming into their useful lives now



 "We found that drone delivery led to faster delivery times and less blood component wastage in health facilities. Future studies should investigate if these improvements are cost-effective, and whether drone delivery might be effective for other pharmaceutical and health supplies that cannot be easily stored at remote facilities."

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All it takes is figuring out the best uses of a new invention.  This is a great use.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

jets to run on used cooking oil



Now, Airbus is ramping up its SAF testing with the first flight of an A380 superjumbo using 100% biofuel made of cooking oil and other waste fats. The company hopes to introduce the world's first zero-emission aircraft by 2035.

 "The flight test met all of our requirements, which will enable us to carry out the next phase of the project consisting of specific engine manoeuvers," Airbus test pilot, Wolfgang Absmeier, said.


This is wonderful, killing 2 birds with one stone.  No more cooking oil waste, and keeping oil in the ground.





Monday, March 14, 2022

Oligarchs having a hard time hiding

 It's amazing to see how the tide has suddenly turned for Russian oligarchs.  But it's not just the Ukraine war that is causing problems for them.  Our entire world is changing in how money and things can no longer be hidden:

* https://www.flightradar24.com lets anybody follow where oligarch's private jets run around to

* https://www.marinetraffic.com does the same for their multi-million dollar yachts

* The Pandora Papers, the Panama Papers, and other leaks from private trusts around the world that once secretly held their money are suddenly leaking information like a sieve

* people are beginning to understand that ill-gotten money soaked up by the oligarchs means less for everybody else

* and of course the Ukraine war puts the spotlight on those few who helped Putin siphon billions from the Russian economy for himself and his cronies

It won't be an easy time for the super-rich in the near future.  They may weather these changes somehow but I hope not.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Is the world learning how to end wars?

 The events in Ukraine are surprising to me, and bring up a radical question.  Is the world learning how to end wars?  

   Consider that Putin apparently assumed a few things that weren't correct.  He thought the Ukrainians would be pushovers.  That is obviously incorrect.  He thought other countries would sit idly by since Ukraine was not in NATO nor any other union/treaty.  This was wildly incorrect.  NATO has come together and put heavy pressure on Russia itself through sanctions, military aid to Ukraine, and a heavy military display on Russia's NATO borders.  

   But the thing that surprises me most is how businesses have reacted, even to their own detriment.  Many western companies have suspended activity in Russia.  They don't have to do that.  It actually hurts their bottom line.  But apparently there is enough consumer pressure on them to invoke this reaction.

   So Russia will soon be in a financial tailspin.  It's military capability will be severely reduced by its losses in Ukraine.  When the fighting is over Russia will be stuck with war reparations from all the horrid damage and mayhem it has caused in Ukraine.  In the short term Russia may gain some territory, but in the long run the world is making sure that the expedition is a severe mistake that it will take many years and maybe even generations to recover from.

   The next despot who feels the desire to take over another weaker country will hopefully remember the lesson of Ukraine.  And just perhaps, the world will have learned how to stop the next war.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Ethanol for fuel not environmentally friendly, says new study



"Corn-based ethanol, which for years has been mixed in huge quantities into gasoline sold at U.S. pumps, is likely a much bigger contributor to global warming than straight gasoline, according to a study published Monday.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, contradicts previous research commissioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showing ethanol and other biofuels to be relatively green."

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South Dakota farmers are not going to like this.  They've been happy growing the corn that is then turned into ethanol, and then added to local gasoline supplies.