Composite Materials & Engineering Center Polymeric Materials News

Forest-powered biofuel flight heads to Washington, D.C.

SEATTLE – Washington state-based Alaska Airlines today made history flying the first commercial flight using the world’s first renewable, alternative jet fuel made from forest residuals, the limbs and branches that remain after the harvesting of managed forests.

The alternative jet fuel was produced through the efforts of the Washington State University-led Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance (NARA).  Read more…

PACCAR Environmental Technology Building dedicated

Building tours, a reception and music from the WSU Cougar Marching Band were part of the dedication of the new PACCAR Environmental Technology Building at Washington State University on Thursday, May 5. WSU Regents, industry supporters, students, faculty and staff attended.  Read more…

INL scientists help harness bacteria power to brew eco-friendly plastic from waste

Three samples of premium wood-plastic composite lumber sit in a stack on a shelf in David Thompson’s office at Idaho National Laboratory. The dense, fine-grained boards are uniformly colored in shades that range from light to dark brown. All three boards match each other in strength and durability. But one of the boards has two special ingredients: plastic made by bacteria, and the same harmless bacteria that made the plastic — by eating wastewater. Read more….

Bacteria break down waste, build bioplastics

Bacteria break down waste, build bioplastics

The same type of bacteria that help break down paper mill waste could also become an increasingly viable source of environmentally friendly biopolymers that can be used to make bioplastics, glues, and composite building materials.

WSU Professor Mike Wolcott has teamed with fellow WSU Professor and Agricultural Research Center scientist Jinwen Zhang, and other scientists and engineers at the WSU Wood Materials Engineering Laboratory, University of California-Davis, and the Idaho National Engineering Lab to focus on a class of naturally occurring bacteria that produce and store polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) which are chain-like molecules, called polymers, … » More …