Those new bio-based tires — already available as prototypes— are the topic of an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.
C&EN Senior Business Editor Melody M. Bomgardner explains that tight supplies and high prices for the natural rubber and synthetic rubber used to make tires — almost 1 billion annually worldwide —are fostering the drive toward renewable, sustainable sources for raw materials.
Petroleum, for instance, is the traditional source for raw materials needed to make tires, with a single tire requiring almost 7 gallons of oil. But changes in oil-refining practices have reduced supplies of those raw materials.
The article describes how companies like Goodyear and Michelin have teamed up with biotechnology firms to genetically engineer microbes that produce the key raw materials for rubber from sugar.
Goodyear’s partner Genencor, for example, is making microbes that mimic rubber trees’ natural processes to make latex rubber. Goodyear has already produced prototype tires with rubber made from sugar. Bomgardner explains that companies hope sugar will buffer them against future shortages of natural and synthetic ingredients, with “sweet” tires making a debut within 3-5 years.“Making Rubber from Renewables”
Michael Bernstein | Newswise Science News
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Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
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