Biomaterials & Biofuels
A report released recently by the Royal Society of New Zealand calls on New Zealanders to take action against rising greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to curb global warming. New Zealand’s emissions are well above average for developed countries, and steadily rising.
Working together with leading research organisations around the globe helps Scion’s research teams gain access to advanced scientific tools and helps foster innovative thinking. It also helps cement Scion as a world-leader in areas such as forestry management and genetics, biosecurity, bioenergy and bioproducts.
Scion has the expertise to support growing global interest in biorefinery processing, based on a long history of research and development for the pulp and paper industry.
Scion’s collaboration with ZESPRI®, recognised as the world leader in premium quality kiwifruit, continues to grow. Scion scientists have been working with ZESPRI® to develop a bioplastic spife (spoon-knife) made, in part, from kiwifruit residue.
Scientists have long been researching eco-friendly packaging alternatives to one of the most widely used plastics, polystyrene. This is now a step closer with the construction, by Biopolymer Network Ltd, of a pilot plant capable of producing fish boxes made from a bio-foam that looks and behaves much like its less eco-friendly counterpart.
Strong, lightweight and economical are highly desirable properties when it comes to buying a car. But one made using corn residue?
Scion has designed and built a unique-to-New Zealand test facility for measuring the aerobic composting of materials such as bioplastics, paper and wood, and quantifying the time it takes for materials to biodegrade.
Scion has been stressing, stretching and pounding plant fibres to understand how they respond to repeated pressure. Flax fibres are of interest because overseas manufacturers are using them in combination with resins to make tennis racquets, high-performance bicycles and racing yachts.
Scion has created a new recipe for adhesives made 100 percent from bio-based ingredients. This breakthrough will help manufacturers of wood panel products to overcome regulatory and customer concerns about formaldehyde emissions.
An extraordinary lamp design by celebrated artist and furniture maker, David Trubridge, has drawn attention to the possibilities offered by new biomaterials.
Our world is hugely dependant on petroleum-based plastics and other non-renewable materials. But renewable “biofibres” such as wood, flax or hemp could take over – and sooner than many think. Scion, a Crown Research Institute, wants to realise products that are made with less energy, do the job at least as well, and ultimately don’t grow the landfill.
Bioplastics are a small but rapidly growing niche that currently represents about 1% of the global plastics market. Their use is expected to grow by over 10% per year, with the estimated global market expected to be more than 12 million tonnes per year by 2020.
New titanium metal alloy open-pore materials currently being developed at IRL could offer high-value contributions to the biomedical sector.
New Zealand CRIs Scion and AgResearch are in a research programme with US-based Diversa Corporation which could ultimately see New Zealand’s vehicle fleet running on New Zealand-grown and manufactured biofuels.