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Plants can be Renewable and Biodegradable alternative to Polymers used in 3-D Printing materials: Research

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New York, March 5, 2017: Plants could be a renewable and biodegradable alternative to the polymers currently used in 3-D printing materials, researchers have found.

A new paper, published in the journal Advanced Materials Technologies, found that cellulose might become an abundant material to print with.

“Cellulose is the most important component in giving wood its mechanical properties. And because it is so inexpensive, it is biorenewable, biodegradable and also very chemically versatile, it is used in a lot of products,” said Sebastian Pattinson, lead author of a paper, from Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (MIT).

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“Cellulose and its derivatives are used in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, as food additives, building materials, clothing — all sorts of different areas. And a lot of these kinds of products would benefit from the kind of customisation that additive manufacturing [3-D printing] enables,” Pattinson added.

When heated, cellulose thermally decomposes before it becomes flowable, partly because of the hydrogen bonds that exist between the cellulose molecules. The intermolecular bonding also makes high-concentration cellulose solutions too viscous to easily extrude.

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“We found that the strength and toughness of the parts we got… was greater than many commonly used materials for 3-D printing, including acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA),” he said.

Cellulose acetate is already widely available as a commodity product. In bulk, the material is comparable in price to that of thermoplastics used for injection molding and it’s much less expensive than the typical filament materials used for 3-D printing. (IANS)

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Being Vegan Good For Environment: Study

The researchers conducted production life cycle environmental impact assessments at the farm level against three environmental indicators - greenhouse gas emissions, cumulative energy demand and land occupation

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The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, also found that organic food provides significant, additional climate benefits for plant-based diets. Wikimedia Commons
The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, also found that organic food provides significant, additional climate benefits for plant-based diets. Wikimedia Commons

Are you planning to go vegan very soon? That’s good news for our home planet as a new study claims that a diet high in fruit and vegetables is better for the environment than one rich in animal products.

This is mainly due to the high energy requirements of livestock farming as well as the very large contribution of livestock to greenhouse gas emissions, said the study.

In addition, intensive livestock production is also responsible for significant biodiversity loss due to the conversion of natural habitats to grass and feed crops, the researchers noted.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, also found that organic food provides significant, additional climate benefits for plant-based diets.

Also Read: Eat Grapes To Ward Off Depression

“We wanted to provide a more comprehensive picture of how different diets impact the environment,” said Louise Seconda, the researcher at the Agence De L’Environnement Et De La Maitrise De L’Energie, an environmental protection organization in France.

"The consumption of organic food added even more environmental benefits for a plant-based diet," Seconda said. Wikimedia Commons
“The consumption of organic food added even more environmental benefits for a plant-based diet,” Seconda said. Wikimedia Commons

“In particular, it is of considerable interest to consider the impacts of both plant-based foods and organic foods,” Seconda added.

For the study, the researchers obtained information on food intake and organic food consumption from more than 34,000 adults.

They used what is called a ‘provegetarian’ score to determine preferences for plant-based or animal-based food products.

The researchers also conducted production life cycle environmental impact assessments at the farm level against three environmental indicators – greenhouse gas emissions, cumulative energy demand and land occupation.

Also Read: Here is a List of Food to Counter Depression and Stress: Try them out!

After combining the consumption and farm production data, the results showed that diet-related environmental impacts were reduced with a plant-based diet — particularly greenhouse gas emissions.

“The consumption of organic food added even more environmental benefits for a plant-based diet,” Seconda said. (IANS)