A New Use For McDonald's Used Cooking Oil: 3D Printing

New Micro 3D Printing Technology Wins Prestigious NZ Engineering Award

An nameless reader quotes a report from CNN: Professor Andre Simpson had an issue. The College of Toronto’s Scarborough campus was paying by way of the nostril for an important materials for its 3D printer. Few would have guessed McDonald’s would come to the rescue. Simpson is director of the varsity’s Environmental NMR Middle devoted to environmental analysis. Central to this analysis is an analytical device known as the NMR spectrometer. NMR stands for nuclear magnetic resonance and is technically just like how an MRI works for medical diagnostics. Simpson had purchased a 3D printer for the lab in 2017. He hoped to make use of it to construct customized components that saved organisms alive inside the NMR spectrometer for his analysis. However the business resin he wanted for high-quality gentle projection 3D printing (the place gentle is used to kind a strong) of these components was costly.

The dominant materials for gentle projection printing is liquid plastic, which may price upward of $500 a liter, in response to Simpson. Simpson intently analyzed the resin and noticed a connection. The molecules making up the business plastic resin have been just like fat present in atypical cooking oil. What got here subsequent was the toughest a part of the two-year experiment for Simpson and his crew of 10 college students — getting a big pattern batch of used cooking oil. “We reached out to all the fast-food eating places round us. All of them stated no,” stated Simpson. Aside from McDonald’s. After filtering out chunks of meals particles and experimenting with the oil for a number of months, the crew was in a position to efficiently print a high-quality butterfly with particulars as minute as 100 micrometers in dimension.

“The experiment yielded a commercially viable resin that Simpson estimates might be sourced as cheaply as 30 cents a liter of waste oil,” stories CNN. One other bonus: it’s biodegradable.

Simpson and his crew printed their analysis in December 2019 in trade publication ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

Learn extra of this story at Slashdot.