Researchers of the University of Bath (UK) and ModCell Ltd have developed straw as a low-impact and viable modern building material. As they say, ‘our research has made affordable, environmentally-friendly houses a reality. The first super-insulated, low-carbon straw houses are hitting the open market.’ Straw, scientifically proven Many disruptive construction technologies have been proposed as
Last 15 September the first Kipster opened its doors in Venray, the Netherlands, a chicken farm that calls itself ‘the most animal friendly and sustainable chicken farm in the world’. The designers of Kipster have not just paid attention to chicken welfare and the company’s ecological footprint; its eggs will also be sold at a
Vredestein showed a prototype of its Fortezza Flower Power at the Eurobike exhibition in Friedrichshafen in August. This innovative road tyre is made of dandelion rubber. The prototype is the result of a EU joint initiative in which Vredestein and Wageningen University & Research (WUR) take part, called DRIVE4EU. Dandelion rubber as a solution to
On August 5, the Biofuels Digest ran a story on chitosan, an exciting biobased substance with a bright future, almost unknown to the public so far (and unfortunately, also to industry). We highlighted it almost three years ago. Since then, science has gone on and discovered many new applications. Chitin and chitosan Chitosan is closely
Cyrene is a biobased solvent intended to substitute toxic solvents in fine chemistry and pharmaceutical industries. It is produced by Circa, an Australian company that has partnered with the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York, UK, and with pulp and paper company Norske Skog to start industrial production in Europe.
At the end of May I visited a ‘Green Deal’ network meeting in Amersfoort, The Netherlands. The meeting itself wasn’t really interesting, but it was organized at a nice location, I met a number of interesting people during the drinks afterwards and I participated in an entertaining workshop on innovation. This workshop dealt with innovation
In nature, many materials excel in precision. They perform very precise tasks – and as researchers delve into their functions, they discover that complexity is at the bottom of this precision. Almost all natural materials are composites, intricate mixtures of pure compounds in order to arrive at the desired result. Nanocomposites are crude but effective
‘Green PAC is the hub for green (fibre) chemistry in the North East Netherlands,’ says the organisation on its website. It initiates and facilitates business driven knowledge development. Green PAC (shorthand for Green Polymer Application Centre) is an initiative of the universities of applied sciences Stenden in Emmen and Windesheim in Zwolle. Centre of polymer