• While propylene traditionally has been a by-product from steam crackers or oil refineries, these sources have not been able to keep up pace in recent years with global demand growth. These supply shortfalls have been particularly acute in China, where demand growth exceeds investments and in North America, amid a shift to shale gas-based ethane feedstocks. This has triggered substantial investments into alternative technologies to boost global propylene supplies, including methanol-to-olefins, methanol-to-propylene and propane dehydrogenation. These investment are expected, over the next five years, to create near-term threats of oversupply, alter the global supply paradigm, as well as market pricing dynamics. Read more in Estimated 50% increase in global propylene production by 2030 prompts radical shift in historical supply relationships
  • A development that will  greatly simplify the process of sorting plastics in recycling plants through automation has been developed. The process is based on the fundamental that different polymers used display specific fluorescence lifetimes, and hence the form of the decay curve can be used to identify their chemical nature. This process can make a significant contribution to environmental protection, because it makes automated sorting feasible. Read more in New development to simplify the process of sorting plastics in recycling plants
  • Flexible electronics or bendable electronics includes flexible batteries, memories, sensors and photovoltaic. Applications span across a spectrum of sectors like consumer electronics, automotive, healthcare, defense and aerospace, and energy and power. Many factors contribute to the rise of flexible electronics- more ruggedness, lightweight, portable, and less cost. Currently, thin film photovoltaic (CIGS) account for largest share. The key revenue pocket for the industry will be the consumer electronics market. Another growth segment will be printed, flexible and organic electronic sensors that can play a key enabling role for wearables. Read more in Consistent technological development in large area electronics spur rapid growth of global flexible electronics
  • Several developments are spurring the growth of flexible electronics. A cost-effective system solutions for flexible electronics enables the application of organic materials for OLED, OPD or OPV on flexible substrates in one complete technology. Another development is the unveiling of the first flexible display device based on graphene - the first step towards next generation gadgets that can be folded, rolled or crumpled up without cracking the screen. Graphene is an ideal material for this, as it is more flexible and more conductive than the metals currently used. Another development details new method to improve the reliability and performance of transistors and circuits based on carbon nanotubes (CNT) for smaller, faster and cheaper electronic devices. Read more in New cost-effective system solutions to drive growth of flexible electronic devices

  • A new method of stimulating bone growth by utilizing the same chemical processes that occur naturally in the human body following an injury has been developed. The new method would seek to mimic the natural steps taken by the human body to encourage bone growth without the unpleasant necessity of extracting further bone from the patient's body. Currently, the best technique for fixing gaps caused by bone injuries is a bone graft from a different part of the patient's body. Another research team have come up with a solution by way of a biodegradable polymer sponge that supports new bone cell growth, then disappears as it's replaced by solid bone. Read more in Polymer scaffold stimulates bone growth, biodegradable sponge supports new bone cell growth