Trading Petrochemicals for Biochemicals: New Plastics from the Soil?

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

Ford's Model U concept of two years ago was an exercise in imagining a greener auto industry, not just via its blown hydrogen-fueled internal combustion hybrid mill, but also through its construction, including a soy-derived tailgate. The idea of biochemically-engineered plastics is starting to take hold, especially with the high price of oil, from which traditional petrochemical plastics are derived. Hemp, for instance, is a primary crop of interest to biochemical materials scientists.


While hemp farming in the US has obviously been slow to take off because of retard-o, ineffectual drug legislation tarred by our country's ridiculous obsession with the puritanical while suckling at the teat of prurience like a half-starved calf, it's also proven a boondoggle elsewhere, despite the Westfalia-loving crowds' exhortations that the plant will save the world. While scientists admit that they're roughly where the petrochemical industry was seven decades ago, many of the processes cross over between the two, meaning that we could eventually see Saturns constructed of dent-resistent biopolymers sooner than one might think.

Cars could very well grow on trees [Canadian Plastics]

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