BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC FROM CACTUS

Photo by: Veronika Nedelcu on Unsplash

Biodegradable plastic from cactus has been identified as a Technology Landmark for use in an OmegaMap. If this technology succeeds it will lessen the accumulation of plastic pollution at present afflicting the ecosphere. The information source for this sketch is an article “This Mexican is making biofuel from cactus plants” written by Sean Flemming on March 22, 2019 and published in the World Economic Forum. Background information is contained in an article entitled “Nopal juice forms basis for new biodegradable plastic” published in Mexico News Daily on June 12, 2018.

Sandra Pascoe of the University of the Valley of Atemajac used the juice from the Nopal cactus to form plastic sheeting. She is now cooperating with the University of Guadelajara Centre for Biological and Agricultural Research.

The Nopal juice contains “…monosaccharides and polysaccharides, which can be combined with glycerol, natural waxes and proteins to create a liquid that forms into plasticky sheets.” These plastic sheets decompose naturally when buried.

The functionality that this invention is focused on is ProcessMatter. Its position in the functionality grid is illustrated below. Details of functional performance metrics are not available at this stage.

The technology readiness level (TRL) on a scale of 1-10 is judged to be TRL 4 “Technology validated in lab”.

Technical terminology is covered in: Van Wyk, Rias, (2017) Technology: Its Fundamental Nature, Beau Bassin, Mauritius, LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, (http://amzn.to/2Avsk3r)
For descriptions of: 

  • Technology Landmark; pp. 83-84, Diagram 11.1, Stage 3
  • Principle of operation; p. 20
  • Functionality; pp. 24-25
  • Functional performance metrics; pp. 40-43
  • OmegaMap; pp. 92-93
  • Functionality Grid; pp. 29-32
  • Technology readiness levels; pp. 22-23

FOREST THERAPY: USING THE HEALING POWER OF TREES

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The book Forest Bathing by Dr. Qing Li, Chairman of the Japanese Society of Forest Medicine, describes a medical technology landmark. It is considered a Technology Landmark for an OmegaMap.

The description starts with the natural pleasant sensation that many people have, while spending time in a forest. The five human senses can all come into play –  sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.

The book then turns to aspects of healing. These include; reduced blood pressure, improved cardiovascular and metabolic activity, lower blood sugar levels, increasing the count of natural killer cells, and increasing  production of anti-cancer proteins. These have been scientifically observed by comparing the profiles of people who have engaged in forest therapy with the profiles of control groups. The former significantly outrank the latter.

This leads to a fundamental question. Is there  a physically identifiable emanation in a forest that carries the healing power? The answer suggested is “yes”. It is called phytoncide and is produced by trees to protect them from afflictions. Scientific studies have shown that phytoncides can be of benefit to humans as well. While research is ongoing we should regard available evidence as pointing to a medical technology landmark.

Forest therapy contributes to the functionality of Process-Matter. Its position in the Functionality Grid is illustrated below. Its level of maturity is estimated at a Technology Readiness Level of TRL 6. This level is described as: “Technology demonstrated in relevant environment”.

Technical terminology is covered in: Van Wyk, Rias, (2017) Technology: Its Fundamental Nature, Beau Bassin, Mauritius, LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, (http://amzn.to/2Avsk3r)
For descriptions of: 

  • Technology Landmark; pp. 83-84, Diagram 11.1, Stage 3
  • Principle of operation; p. 20
  • Functionality; pp. 24-25
  • OmegaMap; pp. 92-93
  • Functionality Grid; pp. 29-32
  • Technology readiness levels; pp. 22-23