New Greener and Safer Alternative to BPA from Paper-making Waste

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Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:

green architecture, affordable living

Photo courtesy of Steve Areen

  • A greener and safer alternative to BPA could come from paper-making waste: According to  latest research from the University of Delaware, lignin-a byproduct derived from a paper-making waste, could be the next greener and safer alternative to BPA. Lignin is a compound that gives wood its strength. Paper-making and other wood-pulping processes produce 70 million tons of lignin byproduct each year, most of it (98 percent) goes to waste and gets incinerated for a small amount of energy. Kaleigh Reno and the research team have developed a process that instead converts lignin fragments into a compound called bisguaiacol-F (BGF), which has a similar shape to BPA. “We expect to show that BGF has BPA-like properties within a year with a product ready for the market two to five years later.”
  • A dream mini-home for just $9,000: Mr. Areen decided to build his dream home while visiting his friends in Thailand, who offered him a building lot on their mango farm. His final dome home was built in just six weeks for an unbelievable nine thousand dollars-also thanks to cheap construction costs in Thailand. As Mr. Areen stated, the cost for the basic structure was under $6,000, but including finishing details and furniture, the total cost was $9,000. The dome home was built using cement blocks and clay bricks. Mr. Areen is now looking at property in Oregon to build another dome home, where he wants to use more sustainable earthen bricks.
  • E-waste brings new business opportunities to the developing world: The trend during the past two decades was that rich, industrialized countries were dumping unwanted electronic devices in impoverished countries, where poor workers were often dissembling and recycling electronic parts under hazardous conditions. But this trend has recently turned around offering new business opportunities to developing countries. According to a recent analysis of United Nations trade data, developing countries are now shipping more e-waste by weight to developed countries than vice versa. A small but growing number of businesses-often backed by international donors and lenders-are exploring ways to create incentives for informal collectors to sell e-waste to formal recycling operations.
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