Biosteel for airplanes, chemicals from sunlight, water and CO2, automated tractors, cloud biology, biodegradable straws: The Digest’s Top 10 Innovations for the week of September 21st

September 20, 2018 |

The pace of invention and change is just too strong, we’ve realized, to highlight annual or even quarterly or monthly rankings and summaries of significant product and service advances. For now, we’re going to be tracking these on a weekly basis to keep pace with the changes. Here are the top innovations for the week of September 21st

In today’s Digest, biosteel for airplanes, chemicals from sunlight, water and CO2, automated tractors enhanced crops through cloud biology, wood waste to bioplastics, capturing micropollutants, biodiesel from wood waste, biodegradable straws— and more, ready for you now at The Digest online.

#1 Airbus and AMSilk partner up for Biosteel airplanes

In Germany, AMSilk, the world’s first industrial supplier of synthetic silk biopolymers, entered into a joint cooperation agreement to develop new bionic high performance composites for use in the aerospace industry, specifically AMSilk’s Biosteel fiber. Biosteel fiber is made from a biopolymer based on natural spider silk, a material known for its strength, flexibility and toughness. Airbus intends to explore how AMSilk’s Biosteel fiber can allow them to approach the design and construction of their planes in an entirely new way.

Biosteel fiber is identical in molecular composition to spider silk, a material known for its strength, flexibility and lightweight structure. AMSilk produces Biosteel fiber through a closed-loop biotechnological process that renders the product highly sustainable, with no petroleum inputs. AMSilk and Airbus are aiming to launch a prototype composite material in 2019.
In recent years, the aerospace industry has shifted from metal and steel fuselage and wings to carbon fiber composite materials, primarily in an effort to decrease the plane’s weight and save fuel over time.

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