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
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.
Another major study on neonicotinoids (neonics) was published in Science, last month. It sparked vehement comments from groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth who want no neonics, as the study seems to show that ‘neonicotinoids negatively affect pollinator health…’ (according to the press release). But upon closer inspection, this is just another study
At the Bio-Based Materials conference in Cologne, organised by nova-Institute, a special material came in second at the election of the bio-based material of the year: Paptic®. ‘The next generation of paper bags – lighter and stronger’, as they advertise themselves. Paptic has a very agreeable feel: soft, strong and foamy, without the coarseness of
The International Conference on Bio-based Materials, an annual highpoint on the bio-based industry’s calendar hosted by Germany’s nova-Institute, was held this year for the tenth time, in Cologne, Germany. As always, the conference concluded the first day with the presentation of the Bio-Based Material of the Year innovation award. The award, sponsored by InfraServ GmbH
Neonicotinoids tend to have a detrimental effect on bees and other pollinating species – unsurprisingly so, because these ‘neonics’ (at a much higher concentration) are designed to kill insects. But it appears very difficult to gather solid evidence of adverse effects on pollinators’ health. Actually, a dirty conflict on scientific data and their interpretation has