Tougher plastic with 50 percent renewable content invented

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Plazma Inferno!, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    Light, strong and tough, a moldable thermoplastic polymer called ABS, shorthand for its acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene components, is the stuff car bumpers, ventilation pipes, protective headgear, kitchen appliances, Lego bricks and many other consumer products are made of. Useful as it is, one of its drawbacks is that it is made using chemicals derived from petroleum.
    Now, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have made a better thermoplastic by replacing styrene with lignin, a brittle, rigid polymer that, with cellulose, forms the woody cell walls of plants. In doing so, they have invented a solvent-free production process that interconnects equal parts of nanoscale lignin dispersed in a synthetic rubber matrix to produce a meltable, moldable, ductile material that's at least ten times tougher than ABS.
    The resulting thermoplastic—called ABL for acrylonitrile, butadiene, lignin—is recyclable, as it can be melted three times and still perform well. A new plastic is also made with 50 percent renewable content from biomass.


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