2010: The Year in Innovation

Mitchell Feinberg
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Really Eco-Friendly Plastic

Scientists have been searching since the 1970s for an efficient way to use carbon dioxide to create affordable plastic that is less harmful to the environment. Novomer has developed a process that promises to do just that. It uses a proprietary cobalt-based catalyst to bond carbon dioxide recaptured from ethanol manufacturing plants to epoxides derived from oil and natural gas. The resulting material requires half as much fossil fuel as traditional plastics. It is also free of BPA, a carcinogen found in some plastic. Read more.