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Biodegradable Styrofoam Made From Milk and Clay

Scientists at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland have created a Styrofoam substitute made mostly from milk proteins and clay.  Not only is it lightweight and made from readily-available materials, but unlike its inspiration, it's biodegradable.

The discovery of this new material was actually an accident.  When a student freeze-dried clay, the result was something the scientists wanted to work with.  The team started mixing in different materials and when the milk protein casein was used, a fluffy, foam-like material was produced.

The final recipe is pretty darn simple:  clay, water, casein powder and a tiny bit of a glycerol-based material all mixed in a kitchen blender.  The dirt smoothie is how much cialis then put into molds and freeze-dried and there you go:  biodegradable packaging foam.

The material has all the order generic viagra same properties as Styrofoam, keeping its integrity up to 392 degrees Fahrenheit.  Where it differs is of course in its ability to break down.  In tests conducted by the USDA, a third of the material broke down in 45 days.

The discovery has led to a new company called Aeroclay, Inc.  The company will start experimenting with more alternatives to should i chew cialis plastic materials that are milk based instead of oil based.  One large hurdle facing them -- make sure the end result doesn't smell like spoiled milk.

via Discovery News


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Comments (14)Add Comment
written by Janneke, October 27, 2010
Why use milk to produce a packing material that breaks down over 45 days, when there are perfectly good cornstarch alternatives that break down in seconds in water?! Milk puts a large strain on the environment. Cows are fed with soybeans from the brazilean rainforests...
written by Beth, October 27, 2010
If you used cornstarch alternatives that break down in seconds in water, wouldn't that be a negative effect because if the packaging were to become even slightly wet, surely it would become useless? Although otherwise it would be brilliant!
Why not
written by Remi, October 28, 2010
I agree with the try it cialis for sale problem of using food to make packages but, once again, the global impact must be compared to the impact of brand cialis for sale oil on buy viagra while overseas the whole life cycle of the product. In a negative way corn is poluting a lot too, it uses a lot of pesticides, needs large amounts of land and i use it generic online levitra needs a lot of water. Nothing's perfect, it's only not too bad.
written by MD, October 28, 2010
...and cornstarch would be better how? bet, feed the corn to the cows, get the milk.
Not enough information
written by Joe, October 28, 2010
This hasn't sold me yet. The process of freeze drying takes a lot of energy, especially on a large scale such as this.. what are those environmental costs?

How much milk is used in the production of this material? Using milk for a large scale application of this may be like the story of using corn for ethanol. When a large quantity of corn was used for ethanol production it affected its price, therefore rasing beef and other grain product prices. Is using milk feasible on a large scale? Milk and the inputs that go into milk production may have increased demand, therefore raising prices even more? - There's tradeoffs here-
written by Gerrick, October 29, 2010
Must we use cow's milk? Surely it would be possible to look here levitra generico use the female viagra milk from other species such as goats, dogs, cats.
Ecofriendly packaging is catching on
written by Polly, October 29, 2010
Packaging and shipping supplies can be made from a number of organic resources, and it's interesting to see how new alternatives are popping up every day.
why Styrofoam?
written by Asaf Shalgi, October 29, 2010
Although using milk might be a bit problematic I wonder if we still need Styrofoam at all? Can't packaging be done with recyclable waste and we'll end it at that?
In reply to asaf
written by karthik, November 01, 2010

Recycleable waste wont necessarily act as a cushion to protect packaged goods.
And this process uses much less electrcity and water to make and is more recyclable if need be than oil based styrofoam.
written by Joe, November 03, 2010
smilies/cheesy.gif Are you serious?
written by Fluxfox, November 04, 2010
That's a pretty awesome random finding. While milk is maybe not the 100% best option for our end solution as people have talked about, it is a huge step in the right direction. It does give us a workable, replenish able, and almost fully echo friendly way of replacing something that is (in its most common uses) almost the opposite.
We would have to look at how much milk is needed to create x amount of foam before we can really be saying how much of a strain on milk production this would be. Their wording of Milk proteins makes me imagine that the amount of milk it takes is minute. Once you take that on a massive production scale it would increase.
I am still really happy and enthusiastic about this. We are continuing to cialis internet move in the right direction even unintentionally .
written by harmony, November 13, 2010
This sounds like a possible option to be expanded on. I have other ideas: 1. Why not just buy local (in your own "backyard"? That would cut down on some packaging and help local merchants.
2. What makes our society think we need so much "stuff" in the first place? AND we are spreading our "bad" habits, like we have done with tobacco, to other parts of buy ultram online fedex the world.
Food safety?
written by Lonny Stern, November 17, 2010
Would a product like this be food safe? One of the larger contributors to the styrofoam waste stream is the food service industry. Alternatives are needed that take food and beverage consumers into account.
Alternative alternatives
written by Someguy, December 24, 2012
Check out mushroom packaging if your interested in this topic. It is about the same thing as this but requires little energy to make and is made out of materials humans cant use( unwanted plant matter and mycilium).

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