"University Turning Mad Cow Parts into Plastic"
Before anyone gets too excited about the commercial possibilities, take this whole project as a sign of academic naivete, considering that "about 5,000 tons of cow parts a week are dumped into landfills, estimated [research David] Bressler. That garbage could yield 3,500 tons of raw material for the new plastic." Who is going to develop and commercialize a process that is capped at 3500 tons of plastic a year? What application is that small? Even if you make a large margin of 10 cents a pound (and I am being very generous in citing a margin like that for a low performing plastic), that is a profit of only $70,000/year.
"We don't have a name," he laughed. "We don't really have a catchphrase nickname for it." I can at least help with that. Since it is made with blocks of protein and blocks of synthetic materials, how about a "cowpolymer"?
[*] Isn't that sneaky that I can complement both my fellow polymer chemists and myself in a subtle manner?