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Category Archives: lifecycle topics

are carbon emissions a new source material?

are carbon emissions a new source material?


plastic from carbon emissions…might be spun, molded, and more


Is it possible to take the carbon molecules in greenhouse gasses (methane, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide) and convert them into long carbon chains like plastic?

This question is at the heart of a new area of sustainable materials engineering. AirCarbon is one company that’s taken this process commerical and currently supplies it emission-engineered plastic to 30 companies, according to this Guardian article. The company calls itself “carbon negative.”

As a substitute for fossil fuel-based plastics, it can be extruded, made into film, spun as fiber, injection molded and more. Some of it is even biodegradable. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? The company’s biggest problem is keeping up with demand.

What’s your favorite new material technology? share in the comments.



What can you do with mushroom materials?

What can you do with mushroom materials?

Ecovative is a biomaterials company making its name in mushrooms — their material is grown, not manufactured. I feel myself wanting to add: shaken, not stirred…or stir fried! Ecovative’s “grow factories” produce mushroom mycelium, a natural, self-assembling glue. The mushrooms digest crop waste “to produce cost-competitive and environmentally responsible materials that perform.” The company isContinue Reading

Can I clean sweet potatoes in this washing machine?

Happy New Year! Let’s launch the year with a post that threads together some of the topics we’ve been looking at — big, smart, and open data alongside multifunctionality. This is the story of Chinese appliance maker Haier. The company used “small data” obtained from its service engineers to find out that many rural clothesContinue Reading



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