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Plastic-eating fungus could help deal with landfill
A team from Yale University has discovered a fungus deep in the South American rainforest that can live entirely on plastic - offering hope for new methods of waste disposal.
Pestalotiopsis microspora, found in the jungles of Ecuador, can digest polyurethane - which often currently ends up in landfill and takes generations to decay.
Burning polyurethane releases toxins as well as carbon dioxide; and, while it can be recycled, it frequently isn't.
The fungus can live entirely on polyurethane. And, most intriguingly, the fungus can break down polyeurethane even without the presence of oxygen, meaning it could do its trick even at the bottom of a landfill site.
The fungus was discovered on the university's annual Rainforest Expedition last year. It's one of several that the team found could brak down polyeurethane, but was the only one to manage this without oxygen.
"The broad distribution of activity observed and the unprecedented case of anaerobic growth using PUR as the sole carbon source suggest that endophytes are a promising source of biodiversity from which to screen for metabolic properties useful for bioremediation," the authors write.
Jonathan Russell has isolated the enzyme that the fungus uses to degrade the polyeurethane, a serine hydrolase. He says it's it’s possible that this molecule alone could be useful in getting rid of waste polyurethane.<more>
Interior paints: Not all green logos mean the same thing
Consumer Reports newest Ratings of interior paints include many subpar low- and no-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints along with those that made our winners’ circle. You’ll also find a growing array of green logos, although some of those certifications are self-awarded. A new Asthma & Allergy Friendly certification is among the ones you’ll see when shopping for paint. Here’s a guide to six of the most common green labels.
Asthma & Allergy Friendly
This one comes from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The foundation measures VOCs emitted during application and prohibits certain harmful chemicals. Companies pay $7,500 or more to have paints tested and use the logo. Among tested paints, Valspar + has it.
This group allows only trace levels of VOCs, including formaldehyde and styrene. Manufacturers measure emissions from drying paint and pay $3,000 or more to Greenguard for testing and to use the logo.
This group limits VOCs, bars certain other hazardous substances, and assesses performance. Companies pay $2,500 to $9,500 to have paints evaluated and use the Green Seal logo.
This certification limits VOCs and odors and prohibits certain chemicals. As part of their membership fee, companies have products tested by the Coatings Research Group, an industry organization. Three Royal Interiors by Ace paints we tested have it.<more>
Nippon Paint to unveil innovative ‘green’ painting solutions during exhibition
KUALA LUMPUR: Nippon Paint, Malaysia’s leading paint brand, will showcase its innovative Green Choice Series and provide a one-stop paint solution centre at Greenbuild Asia 2012 Exhibition and Conference to be held from February 14 to 16 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
The Green Choice Series come in a myriad of colours and is a complete eco- and health-friendly range of water-based paints, suitable for both interior and exterior surfaces. In a statement yesterday, Nippon Paint said it will have consultants on hand at the exhibition to give advice on high-quality painting solutions that last longer. <more>
PPG to Exhibit Eco-friendly Coatings at International Roofing Expo
PPG Industries will showcase the entire line of eco-friendly CORAFLON and DURANAR coatings for building panels and metal roofs at the International Roofing Expo in Orlando during February 22-24, 2012.
PPG Industries will exhibit the complete line of environmentally progressive DURANAR(R) ULTRA-COOL(R) coatings for metal roofs at the 2012 International Roofing Expo in Orlando, Feb. 22-24. Duranar ULTRA-Cool coatings, which can help metal roofs to stay cooler, are pictured here on the clubhouse at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore.
The company has formulated SUPERL II and Duranar ULTRA-Cool coatings using infrared reflective pigments. These pigments repel away the solar energy from buildings and enable cooling inside the buildings and also use less energy. PPG’s Duranar VARI-COOL coatings will be displayed for metal building panels. Special pigments are featured in these coatings that change color and is consistent with the viewed angle and ambient lighting conditions.
Superl II and Duranar ULTRA-cool coatings meet the reflectance limits of the ENERGY STAR rating for low-slope or steep-slope roofing products. More than 250 colors of the ULTRA-Cool coatings from PPG have been registered in the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC). Manufacturers of metal roof can meet the PPG representative at the Roofing Expo in order to accelerate the registration of their cool roof coating colors with the ENERGY STAR and CRRC programs.
The information about Coraflon and Duranar powder coatings will be available for the visitors at the PPG booth. The strength and ecological benefits of these powder coatings are combined with the aesthetic benefits of traditional liquid coatings. Duranar coatings need 40% low production time, when compared with usual production of powder coatings, and reach nearly 100% first-run, batch-to-batch stability in color. They utilize less water, produce 15% low manufacturing waste when compared to liquid coatings. Transportation cost is also less.
New study shows that titanium dioxide nanoparticles are ubiquitous in food products
(Nanowerk Spotlight) Following up on our recent Nanowerk Spotlight on nanofoods, new research shows that consumers could be exposed to nanoparticles in food by a much larger degree than has been expected so far.
For a modern consumer it is hard to avoid titanium dioxide (TiO2) – a widely used additive in food, personal care and other household products. Approximately 7 million tons of bulk TiO2 are produced annually and used as white pigment in order to provide whiteness and opacity to products such as paints, coatings, plastics, papers, inks, foods, pills, as well as most toothpastes. In cosmetic and personal care products, it is used as a pigment, sunscreen and a thickener. TiO2 also is a photocatalyst; can oxidize oxygen or organic materials directly; and is superhydrophilic. You can therefore expect to see it increasingly used in paints, glass coatings, cement, tiles and ceramics, catalysts for air and water purification.
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"Ask Joe Powder"
"Ask Joe Powder" is a question and answer column authored by Kevin Biller of the Powder Coating Research Group. Mr. Biller has over 30 years experience formulating and manufacturing powder coatings. He welcomes your questions regarding powder coating technology. Please write to: email@example.com
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Measuring Powder Coating Density
I'm selling powder coating in South America. So now I have many questions regard to powder coatings. But the most important is this: How long can resist the powder coating after the due date, when it still is at storage?
Thanks for the question. I have traveled and worked in Colombia and have very fond memories of my time spent there. I will be very happy to answer your question.
The stability of a powder coating is influenced by many factors. First I must differentiate two distinct types of stability. Physical stability involves the requirement for the individual particles to resist clumping or sticking together. Chemical stability refers to a powder coating's resistance to premature polymerization during storage and handling.
Physical stability is influenced by the melt point or more specifically the Tg (glass transition temperature) of the powder coating and the storage conditions. A powder coating with a low melt point will sinter and clump more readily than one with a higher melt point. Accordingly powders stored in high temperature environments will clump more readily than those stored in cooler areas. Additionally powders exposed to high humidity environments tend to absorb moisture which will also cause clumping. (Please note that most powders are supplied in moisture impervious containers and the exposure to moisture occurs after the package has been opened.) Clumping obviously makes a powder difficult to fluidize, transport and spray in an application system.
On the other hand, chemical instability causes a powder coating to chemically advance or polymerize during storage. Fast reacting and low temperature curing powders can start to polymerize in high temperature storage conditions. This premature chemical advancement reduces the melt flow of a powder coating causing a more textured finish.
Both physical and chemical instability can be present in a powder coating. Typically fast cure (or low temperature cure) powders also have low melt points to help facilitate better melt flow at low cure temperatures. Consequently these types of powders are most susceptible to clumping and chemical advancement and should be stored and applied in a climate controlled environment. I recommend less
than 27 deg C and 50 to 70% relative humidity.
Now to answer your question (are you asleep yet?). Standard curing powder coatings (175 -200 deg C) that have been stored in a reasonable environment can remain usable long past their "due date". Low cure powders and those that have been stored in environments exceeding 27 deg C for long periods of time can suffer from clumping and chemical advancement. I would inspect (for clumps,etc) then spray and bake a sample of any powder that is past it's due date and make the determination yourself. If the finish is still within your requirement for smoothness and appearance (no blistering, dirt, etc) then I would continue to use it.
Claudia, I hope that this helps you. Someday I hope to return to Colombia to enjoy the beautiful weather, excellent food and wonderful people.
We have a dedicated/automated powder line. The parts go through the wash stages and are powdered in an enclosed area. Powder guns are oriented from both the top and bottom. We have a problem where powder collects on the top inside of the booth and eventually falls in clumps on the product. We have a regular cleaning schedule for the booth but it is cumbersome and taking too much time. Do you know of any way to prevent the powder from collecting in the first place or any other suggestions that would make this more efficient? I would appreciate any time you could spare to consider this.
Sounds like a very aggravating problem. I think that you need to explore a combination of design, process and materials for tackle the problem. Here are a few areas that I would investigate:
Design - I would consider replacing flat surfaces (if you have them) with curved ones. The curved surface will allow for better air flow and a potentially cleaner surface. Check also the air flow of your system near the top of your booth. Is there a dead space? Can your airflow be redirected to pull air from this area?
Process - Do you have an adequate ground for your parts? Powder is electrostatically attracted to the closest and best ground. If your booth ceiling is conductive and well-grounded then the powder will be preferentially attracted to this surface. Is your spray gun orientation and pattern too wide? Are you overshooting the top parts on your hangers and thereby spraying powder too high? Do your guns trigger too soon before seeing parts and stay on too long after the hanger has passed? Again, powder
will look for a ground which will most probably be your booth walls and ceiling.
Materials - Is the top of your booth comprised of metal or a lesser conductive plastic? Metal will attract powder much better than polypropylene or HDPE. A quick fix may involve installing an intermediate plastic baffle between your parts conveyor and the booth ceiling.
I hope that these ideas will help you in your quest to eliminate this problem. Please let me know how you progress.
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Berger Paints - Change in
Berger Paints India Ltd has informed BSE that Mrs. Rishma Kaur and Mr. Kanwardip Singh Dhingra have automatically vacated office of Alternate Directorship pursuant to provisions of Section 313 of the Companies Act, 1956 on January 30, 2012, on the return of the original directors and were re-appointed as Alternate Directors to Mr. Kuldip Singh Dhingra and Mr. Gurbachan Singh Dhingra respectively, effective February 01,
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