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|Articles - May 2011|
|Wednesday, April 20, 2011|
Poplar trees are widely grown for biofuels. Oregon State University professors Steven Strauss and Murphy Ganti and David Dalton from Reed College want to harvest plastics from them as well. Success could potentially provide a more sustainable alternative to oil-based plastics. Scientists have been experimenting with biopolymers, plant-derived plastics, for years, but the bulk of this research has focused on deriving bioplastics from plants and fungi, not trees. The benefit of growing biopolymers on poplar trees, says Strauss, is that it’s more efficient; trees grow quickly in natural sunlight, as opposed to bacteria, which have to be grown in labs. The hurdle is that the ratio of biopolymer that the leaf currently yields is only between 1% and 2%. In order to be economically viable, the amount of biopolymer in a given leaf must be between 10% and 12%. The team is now tweaking its approach to get to that higher yield by introducing a polymer-initiating chemical into a different part of the tree cell. By using this method, they hope to increase biopolymer yields without hindering tree growth. Strauss estimates they’ll need another three to four years of research; similar research on tobacco plants suggests it’s feasible. “These kinds of programs don’t have short payoffs,” Strauss says.
Friday, March 21, 2014
TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
During a recent talk to HR Directors, I asked if they saw leaders trying to solve every problem, instead of delegating to and empowering staff. Every head nodded. Every single one.
Thursday, April 03, 2014
BY OB STAFF
Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Oregon is home not only to many fine writers but also several accomplished small publishers.
Friday, February 28, 2014
The 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon list was announced Thursday night at an awards dinner at the Oregon Convention Center.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
Ron Green became president and CEO of Oregon Pacific Bank in August 2013.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER
The medical research enterprise wastes tens of billions of dollars a year on irrelevant studies. It’s time to fix it.
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