Archive for December 17th, 2012

Long-term unemployment might lead to getting overlooked for a coveted position, even if the applicant has the qualifications. To overcome large time gaps between jobs, a strategic approach to resume writing can show an applicant’s achievements in the best light. Read more

Larry Turner

Amid new data that U.S.-made goods hold high cachet overseas, especially in the blooming China market, American manufacturers are in a favorable position to export. Exporting enables companies to expand markets, generate new distribution and revenue streams, and weather changes in the domestic economy. Read more

Credit: Biopol'H

Plus: U.S. Trade Gap Expands, Wholesale Prices Tumble, Equipment Financing Set to Grow through 2014 and Jobless Claims Drop. Read more


(c) Ford Motor Company

Bioplastics are finding diverse applications in automobile manufacturing as replacements for petroleum-based plastics. They’re already appearing in automobile interiors and undercarriages — and even under the hood.

According to “The Bio-Based Materials Automotive Value Chain,” a report from the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) of Ann Arbor, Mich., “the U.S. automotive industry is estimated to be a $370 billion industry for 2011, and the majority of this value is in the automotive parts sector.” This suggests that “penetrating even a small portion of this industry could provide significant returns to investment in new materials and technologies, such as bio-based automotive parts and components, if these technologies are successfully adopted by the industry.”

Bio-materials in a general sense can include natural fibers used as fillers and reinforcements for automotive applications, but here we’re primarily discussing bioplastics — polymers from plant sources such as soybeans, castor beans, corn or sugarcane that can replace petroleum-based polymers and provide equal or sufficient performance characteristics. Such materials, while not necessarily biodegradable, can offer reduced life-cycle environmental impacts and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They can help companies fulfill increasingly restrictive environmental regulations and can provide a possible hedge against the volatility of the price of the petroleum feedstocks used for conventional plastic resins. Read more

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