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Adding eggshell nanoparticles to a bioplastic (shown above) increases the strength and flexibility of the material, potentially making it more attractive for use in the packaging industry. Credit: Vijaya Rangari/Tuskegee University Eggshells are both marvels and afterthoughts. Placed on end, they are as strong as the arches supporting ancient Roman aqueducts. Yet they readily crack in the middle, and once that happens, we discard them without a second thought. But now scientists report that adding tiny shards of eggshell to bioplastic could create a first-of-its-kind biodegradable packaging material that bends but does not easily break. The researchers present their work today at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). "We're breaking eggshells down into their most minute components and then infusing them into a special blend of bioplastics that we have developed," says Vijaya K. Rangari, Ph.D. "These nano-sized eggshell particles add strength to the material and make them far more flexible than other bioplastics on the market. We believe that these traits—along with its biodegradability in the soil—could make this eggshell bioplastic a very attractive alternative packaging material." Worldwide, manufacturers produce about 300 million tons of plastic annually. Almost 99 percent of it is made with crude oil and other fossil fuels. Once it is discarded, petroleum-based plastics can last for centuries without breaking down. If burned, these plastics release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which can contribute to global climate change. As an alternative, some manufacturers are producing bioplastics—a form of plastic derived from cornstarch, sweet potatoes or other renewable plant-based sources—that readily decompose or biodegrade once they are in the ground. However, most of these materials lack the strength and flexibility needed to work well in the packaging industry. And that's a problem since the vast majority of plastic is used to hold, wrap and encase products. So petroleum-based materials continue to dominate the market, particularly in grocery and other retail stores, where estimates suggest that up to a trillion plastic bags are distributed worldwide every year. To find a solution, Rangari, graduate student Boniface Tiimob and colleagues at Tuskegee University experimented with various plastic polymers. Eventually, they latched onto a mixture of 70 percent polybutyrate adipate terephthalate (PBAT), a petroleum polymer, and 30 percent polylactic acid (PLA), a polymer derived from cornstarch. PBAT, unlike other oil-based plastic polymers, is designed to begin degrading as soon as three months after it is put into the soil. This mixture had many of the traits that the researchers were looking for, but they wanted to further enhance the flexibility of the material. So they created nanoparticles made of eggshells. They chose eggshells, in part, because they are porous, lightweight and mainly composed of calcium carbonate, a natural compound that easily decays. The shells were washed, ground up in polypropylene glycol and then exposed to ultrasonic waves that broke the shell fragments down into nanoparticles more than 350,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Then, in a laboratory study, they infused a small fraction of these particles, each shaped like a deck of cards, into the 70/30 mixture of PBAT and PLA. The researchers found that this addition made the mixture 700 percent more flexible than other bioplastic blends. They say this pliability could make it ideal for use in retail packaging, grocery bags and food containers—including egg cartons. In addition to bioplastics, Rangari's team is investigating using eggshell nanoparticles to enhance wound healing, bone regeneration and drug delivery. Explore further: Video: Using microbes to generate bioplastics More information: Nano Engineered Eggshell Toughened Polylactic Acid/Aliphatic-Aromatic Copolyester Flexible Polymer Blend, the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), 2016.


News Article | August 29, 2016
Site: http://www.forbes.com/energy/feed2/

Under President Xi Jinping, China has undergone a nearly four year long corruption crack down across all sectors. The list continues. Last week, a top ranking PLA general was brought down, while the government is also setting its gaze on powerful energy and oil companies.


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Site: http://www.cemag.us/rss-feeds/all/rss.xml/all

Eggshells are both marvels and afterthoughts. Placed on end, they are as strong as the arches supporting ancient Roman aqueducts. Yet they readily crack in the middle, and once that happens, we discard them without a second thought. But now scientists report that adding tiny shards of eggshell to bioplastic could create a first-of-its-kind biodegradable packaging material that bends but does not easily break. “We’re breaking eggshells down into their most minute components and then infusing them into a special blend of bioplastics that we have developed,” says Vijaya K. Rangari, Ph.D. “These nano-sized eggshell particles add strength to the material and make them far more flexible than other bioplastics on the market. We believe that these traits — along with its biodegradability in the soil — could make this eggshell bioplastic a very attractive alternative packaging material.” Worldwide, manufacturers produce about 300 million tons of plastic annually. Almost 99 percent of it is made with crude oil and other fossil fuels. Once it is discarded, petroleum-based plastics can last for centuries without breaking down. If burned, these plastics release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which can contribute to global climate change. As an alternative, some manufacturers are producing bioplastics — a form of plastic derived from cornstarch, sweet potatoes, or other renewable plant-based sources — that readily decompose or biodegrade once they are in the ground. However, most of these materials lack the strength and flexibility needed to work well in the packaging industry. And that’s a problem since the vast majority of plastic is used to hold, wrap and encase products. So petroleum-based materials continue to dominate the market, particularly in grocery and other retail stores, where estimates suggest that up to a trillion plastic bags are distributed worldwide every year. To find a solution, Rangari, graduate student Boniface Tiimob and colleagues at Tuskegee University experimented with various plastic polymers. Eventually, they latched onto a mixture of 70 percent polybutyrate adipate terephthalate (PBAT), a petroleum polymer, and 30 percent polylactic acid (PLA), a polymer derived from cornstarch. PBAT, unlike other oil-based plastic polymers, is designed to begin degrading as soon as three months after it is put into the soil. This mixture had many of the traits that the researchers were looking for, but they wanted to further enhance the flexibility of the material. So they created nanoparticles made of eggshells. They chose eggshells, in part, because they are porous, lightweight, and mainly composed of calcium carbonate, a natural compound that easily decays. The shells were washed, ground up in polypropylene glycol and then exposed to ultrasonic waves that broke the shell fragments down into nanoparticles more than 350,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Then, in a laboratory study, they infused a small fraction of these particles, each shaped like a deck of cards, into the 70/30 mixture of PBAT and PLA. The researchers found that this addition made the mixture 700 percent more flexible than other bioplastic blends. They say this pliability could make it ideal for use in retail packaging, grocery bags and food containers — including egg cartons. In addition to bioplastics, Rangari’s team is investigating using eggshell nanoparticles to enhance wound healing, bone regeneration and drug delivery. He acknowledges funding from the National Science Foundation (CREST#1137681, RISE#1459007) and the Alabama Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ESPCoR#1158862).


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Site: http://news.yahoo.com/green/

The Eiffel Tower in Paris after it went dark for the Earth Hour on March 19, 2016 (AFP Photo/Ludovic Marin) More From Sydney Opera House to the Eiffel tower in Paris and the Kremlin in Moscow, landmarks across the globe dimmed their lights on Saturday night for the 10th edition of the Earth Hour campaign calling for action on climate change. Millions of people from 178 countries and territories were expected to take part in WWF's Earth Hour this year, organisers said, with monuments and buildings such as Berlin's Brandenburg Gate and the Empire State Building plunging into darkness for 60 minutes from 8:30 pm local time. The annual event kicked off in Sydney, where the Earth Hour idea originated in 2007. "We just saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge switch its lights off... and buildings around as well," Earth Hour's Australia manager Sam Webb told AFP from The Rocks area. Earth Hour's global executive director Siddarth Das said organisers were excited about how much the movement had grown since it began nine years ago. "From one city it has now grown to over 178 countries and territories and over 7,000 cities, so we couldn't be happier about how millions of people across the world are coming together for climate action," he told AFP via telephone from Singapore ahead of the lights out. Over 150 buildings in Singapore dimmed their lights, while Taipei's 101 gradually turned lights off for one hour and the city's four historical gates and bridges also went dark. The lights also dimmed across Hong Kong's usually glittering skyline, although online commentators pointed out that China's People's Liberation Army garrison headquarters on the harbour front kept the lights blazing. "Imagine being the manager of the only building in a major metropolis to forget," said one Twitter post alongside a picture of the PLA building lit up against a darkened skyline. After Asia, Earth Hour shifted to Europe where St Peter's Basilica, Rome's Trevi fountain and the Parthenon temple in Athens were among a slew of iconic sites to go off-grid. In London, the lights were shut off at the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and Harrods department store. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was plunged into darkness, as was the Kremlin in Moscow. Earth Hour's Das said momentum towards climate action was building in the wake of the global climate talks in Paris last year. The so-called Paris Agreement sets the goal of limiting global warming to "well below" two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels, with a more ambitious target of 1.5 C if possible. Das said people were experiencing the impact of climate change more now than when Earth Hour began, adding that "climate change has now become a more personal topic". "I feel that there's a renewed vigour among individuals and governments to come together for strong climate action and to fight climate change," he said. Das said Earth Hour organisers did not collect global statistics on the energy conserved during the 60-minute blackout, and that the event has always had symbolic intent, saying it was more a moment of global solidarity about a global problem.


Home > Press > Eggshell nanoparticles could lead to expanded use of bioplastic in packaging materials Abstract: Title Nano Engineered Eggshell Toughened Polylactic Acid/Aliphatic-Aromatic Copolyester Flexible Polymer Blend Abstract The need for compostable alternative packaging materials is an urgent one, due to the inevitable demand in copious quantities by the increasing consumer population. Unfortunately, the mostly used polymeric materials (polypropylene and polyethylene) are recalcitrant to degradation, and contribute significantly to the concerning is of climate change. The demands for such materials have surged in commensurate proportions to match the increasing demand by growing global population. Worldwide yearly plastics production is estimated to exceed 300 million tons by 2015. Currently, the bioplastics market is surging up and capturing the plastics consumer market by a rate of 30 % annually. Hence, the development of compostable substitute plastics will immensely help in the replacement of their petroleum sourced counterparts, curtailing the complex issues related to environmental waste management and climate change. In this research, extruded compostable poly (butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT)/agro-based polylactic acid (PLA) blend films were studied to select a suitable blend for further investigations. These blends (90/10, 80/20, 70/30, 60/40 and 50/50) were characterized using DSC, TGA, Raman spectroscopy, XRD, SEM and tensile testing. After this screening, the 70/30 blend was selected based on its desirable tensile properties and further studied by reinforcing with eggshell nanoparticles (> 30 nm by TEM analysis) engineered through mechanical attrition and ultrasound irradiation. Eggshell nanoparticles have shown great potential in tailoring of weak polymer properties toward their enhancement, at the same time the inherent egg proteins in the shells have the potential of acting as biocides (antibacterial agents) in the polymer matrix. DSC results revealed that the two polymers are immiscible, due to the presence of distinct melting points. Raman spectroscopy showed frequency vibrations and intensities unique to the individual polymers. Also, SEM microanalysis showed heterogeneous mixtures of the two matrixes with distinct phases. The tensile test showed that PLA led to improvement in tensile strength and modulus whiles PBAT significant led to enhancement in train-to-failure of the pristine blends systems. The inclusion of nano eggshell led to improvement in thermal stability, strain-to-failure and strain at maximum load of the 70/30 blend. Eggshells are both marvels and afterthoughts. Placed on end, they are as strong as the arches supporting ancient Roman aqueducts. Yet they readily crack in the middle, and once that happens, we discard them without a second thought. But now scientists report that adding tiny shards of eggshell to bioplastic could create a first-of-its-kind biodegradable packaging material that bends but does not easily break. The researchers present their work today at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world's largest scientific society, is holding the meeting here through Thursday. It features more than 12,500 presentations on a wide range of science topics. "We're breaking eggshells down into their most minute components and then infusing them into a special blend of bioplastics that we have developed," says Vijaya K. Rangari, Ph.D. "These nano-sized eggshell particles add strength to the material and make them far more flexible than other bioplastics on the market. We believe that these traits -- along with its biodegradability in the soil -- could make this eggshell bioplastic a very attractive alternative packaging material." Worldwide, manufacturers produce about 300 million tons of plastic annually. Almost 99 percent of it is made with crude oil and other fossil fuels. Once it is discarded, petroleum-based plastics can last for centuries without breaking down. If burned, these plastics release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which can contribute to global climate change. As an alternative, some manufacturers are producing bioplastics -- a form of plastic derived from cornstarch, sweet potatoes or other renewable plant-based sources -- that readily decompose or biodegrade once they are in the ground. However, most of these materials lack the strength and flexibility needed to work well in the packaging industry. And that's a problem since the vast majority of plastic is used to hold, wrap and encase products. So petroleum-based materials continue to dominate the market, particularly in grocery and other retail stores, where estimates suggest that up to a trillion plastic bags are distributed worldwide every year. To find a solution, Rangari, graduate student Boniface Tiimob and colleagues at Tuskegee University experimented with various plastic polymers. Eventually, they latched onto a mixture of 70 percent polybutyrate adipate terephthalate (PBAT), a petroleum polymer, and 30 percent polylactic acid (PLA), a polymer derived from cornstarch. PBAT, unlike other oil-based plastic polymers, is designed to begin degrading as soon as three months after it is put into the soil. This mixture had many of the traits that the researchers were looking for, but they wanted to further enhance the flexibility of the material. So they created nanoparticles made of eggshells. They chose eggshells, in part, because they are porous, lightweight and mainly composed of calcium carbonate, a natural compound that easily decays. The shells were washed, ground up in polypropylene glycol and then exposed to ultrasonic waves that broke the shell fragments down into nanoparticles more than 350,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Then, in a laboratory study, they infused a small fraction of these particles, each shaped like a deck of cards, into the 70/30 mixture of PBAT and PLA. The researchers found that this addition made the mixture 700 percent more flexible than other bioplastic blends. They say this pliability could make it ideal for use in retail packaging, grocery bags and food containers -- including egg cartons. In addition to bioplastics, Rangari's team is investigating using eggshell nanoparticles to enhance wound healing, bone regeneration and drug delivery. Rangari acknowledges funding from the National Science Foundation (CREST#1137681, RISE#1459007) and the Alabama Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ESPCoR#1158862). About American Chemical Society The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 158,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

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