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New materials are all the rage. Sustainability too. Which is why, not only universities, but also large chemical concerns are concentrating their efforts on the development of organic synthetic materials. Of paramount interest are the replacement of oil as the raw material for conventional plastics with sustainable plant or animal products, and the efficient optimisation of mass production processes. Author and product designer, Nicola Stattmann presents 16 different material groups derived from contemporary organic synthetics, whereby by the original materials range from carrot fibre, through corn starch and on to oxygen producing algae. Each and every case must be critically examined in just how sustainable the individual organic synthetic material really is; discussions similar to those concerning the realistic use of bio-diesel as fuel. Mono-cultures based on oil palms are not only destroying the last primeval forests in the world, in Indonesia, but it is possible that they are competing with the production of urgently needed foodstuffs.
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