In our modern world, eliminating plastics is inconceivable. Unfortunately, they do have disadvantages, including the formation of CO2 in both production and combustion, depletion of fossil feedstocks, and growth of landfills. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, Russian researchers introduce a new way forward, a polymer made entirely from biomass that can easily and inexpensively be used in 3D printing. Objects produced in this way are of high quality, easily recyclable, and highly solvent-resistant. Conventional “subtractive” processes involve cutting, sawing, turning, or milling, which results in a great deal of wasted material. In contrast, 3D printing processes are, in principle, waste-free, because they are “additive”: three-dimensional objects are produced in a layer-by-layer application of material. The most common technique is called fused deposition modeling (FDM). In this process, the raw material is squirted through a hot nozzle onto a mobile base and thereby liquefied (extrusion). The printer head produces the programmed form like in a conventional two-dimensional printing process, releasing small amounts of the polymer instead of ink. This is repeated for layer after layer until the desired three-dimensional object is complete. Yet, the polymers used until now have a number of disadvantages that limit their use. Some of the polymers are attacked by organic solvents. Those that withstand the solvents, on the other hand, adhere poorly and shrink on heating, allowing their layers to come apart and causing errors in the printing process. Click Read More below for additional information.
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Oil is poised for a drop of 20 percent since early June, meeting the definition of a bear market. While excess crude production is abating, inventories around the world are brimming, especially for gasoline, and a revival in U.S. drilling threatens to swell supplies further. As the output disruptions that cleared some of the surplus earlier this year begin to be resolved, crude could again slump toward $30 a barrel, Morgan Stanley predicts. “The tables are turning on the bulls, who were prematurely constructive on oil prices on the basis the re-balancing of the oil market was a done deal,” said Harry Tchilinguirian, head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas SA in London. “It’s probably going to take a little longer than they expected.” Oil almost doubled in New York between February and June as big names from Goldman and the International Energy Agency to new Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said declining U.S. oil production and disruptions from Nigeria to Canada were finally ending years of oversupply. Prices are set for their biggest monthly loss in a year amid a growing recognition the surplus will take time to clear.
Oil rose on Tuesday, driven by supply disruptions in Canada and elsewhere that have knocked out 2.5 million barrels of daily production and temporarily eclipsed concern over high global inventories and a looming surplus of refined products. In spite of outages from Canada to Nigeria, oil prices are down by more than 2 percent so far this week, hampered by worries that even hefty dents to production will have little effect on the growth of stocks of unwanted crude. Brent crude futures were up 75 cents on the day at $44.38 per barrel by 0945 GMT, while U.S. crude futures were up 45 cents at $43.89 per barrel.