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April Chementator Briefs

By Gerald Ondrey |

A hard biomaterial Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Applied Materials Research (IFAM; Bremen, Germany; www.ifam.fraunhofer.de) have developed a granulate form of a biomaterial that may replace titanium used as screws and other hardware in medical applications. Although screws made of polylactic acid (PLA), for example, have already been used in the past for repairing broken bones, large holes remain in the bone after the PLA has degraded. IFAM’s new material is a composite of PLA and hydroxylapatite — a ceramic component of natural bone. When screws of this composite degrade, the hydroxylapatite component promotes new bone growth into the implant. The new material can be processed using conventional injection-molding methods, without the need for any post-processing, such as milling. Prototype components have a compressive strength of 130 N/mm, which is comprable to real bone (130–180 N/mm). Microreactor GTL demo A 5–10 bbl/d demonstration gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility is to be up and running by early next year at the Petrobas Brasileiro S.A. (Rio de Janeiro) facility in Fortaleza, Brazil. The facility, which will incorporate a microchannel steam-methane reformer (SMR)…
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