May 2011

Trends and Resources

HP Impact: Small-scale chemistry could improve biodegradable polymers

Using a small block of aluminum with a tiny groove carved in it (Fig. 1), a team of researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Polytechnic Institute of New York..

Thinnes, Billy, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Using a small block of aluminum with a tiny groove carved in it (Fig. 1), a team of researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University is developing an improved “green chemistry” method for making biodegradable polymers. Their recently published work is a prime example of the value of microfluidics, a technology more commonly associated with inkjet printers and medical diagnostics, to process modeling and development for industrial chemistry.   Fig. 1. Typical NIST microreactor plate for   studying enzyme-catalyzed polymerization.   Photo courtesy of Kundu, NIST. “We ba

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