Saturday, September 30, 2006
Shrouded in black curtains, the wonders of Wired Magazine's Nextfest displayed themselves to a (dare I say?) somewhat geeky crowd that was eager to see the latest science and technological innovations this weekend. Needless to say, I was among them.
Deep in the recesses of the giant room was the "green" section. There, standing at a small table were two young guys who were telling people that natural things like citrus fruits can make plastic.
How does this possible? Well, according to these two Cornell Ph.D. graduates, it's pretty simple. Stacked on top of each other were three clear, plastic boxes. One had a white balloon inside, representing limonene (which is found in citrus fruits) and two had red balloons, representing carbon. This molecule creates a strong plastic that is comparable to the plastics used to create things like a cup.
Apparently one company is interested in buying this technology that can decompose in a compost heap. Is it truly possible that organic things can make biodegrading plastic? One would like to think that if they can get a booth at Nextfest, anything can happen.