Approach tackles most commonly used synthetic plastic
A new way of recycling millions of tons of plastic garbage into liquid fuel has been devised by researchers from the University of California, Irvine and the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC) in China.
“Synthetic plastics are a fundamental part of modern life, but our use of them in large volume has created serious environmental problems,” said UCI chemist Zhibin Guan. “Our goal through this research was to address the issue of plastic pollution as well as achieving a beneficial outcome of creating a new source of liquid fuel.”
Guan and Zheng Huang, his collaborator at SIOC, together with their colleagues have figured out how to break down the strong bonds of polyethylene, the most common commercially available form of plastic. Their innovative technique centers on the use of alkanes, specific types of hydrocarbon molecules, to scramble and separate polymer molecules into other useful compounds. The team’s findings were published recently in Science Advances.
Scientists have been seeking to recycle plastic bags, bottles and other trash generated by humans with less toxic or energy intensive methods. Current approaches include using caustic chemicals known as radicals or heating the material to more than 700 degrees Fahrenheit to break down the chemical bonds of the polymers.
In this newly discovered technique, the team degrades plastics in a milder and more efficient manner through a process known as cross-alkane metathesis. The substances needed for the new method are byproducts of oil refining, so they’re readily available.
Guan said the US-China joint team is still working on a few issues to make it more efficient. That includes increasing the catalyst activity and lifetime, decreasing the cost, and developing catalytic processes to turn other plastic trash into treasure.
The Latest on: Plastic waste
via Google News
The Latest on: Plastic waste
- The plastic pandemic side effect of COVID-19on October 10, 2020 at 11:55 am
The coronavirus pandemic has sparked a rush for plastic. From Wuhan to New York, demand for face shields, gloves, takeaway food containers and bubble wrap for online shopping has surged. Since most of ...
- The plastic problem: No sign of plastic waste levels decreasingon October 10, 2020 at 7:31 am
COVID-19 has seen a reversal of attempts to minimize plastic waster. The coronavirus pandemic has seen large amounts of plastic used in face masks, testing kits, and screens. What is the current state ...
- Lifoam Industries’ NEW Envirocooler™ EVG™ Reduces Plastic Waste While Maintaining Quality Performance & Convenienceon October 8, 2020 at 10:10 am
Lifoam's new Envirocooler™ EVG™ provides customers with a more sustainable packaging option than traditional EPS shipping products.
- Plastic Fuels: Do They Fix Waste Or Greenwash It?on October 7, 2020 at 10:02 pm
Marketed as a solution to the environmental and waste problems the plastic industry is currently facing, recycled carbon fuels are problematic. And they will be at odds with Wednesday’s vote from the ...
- Canada one-step closer to zero plastic waste by 2030on October 7, 2020 at 8:14 am
Comprehensive plan includes banning harmful single-use plastic items like bags and strawsGATINEAU, QC, Oct. 7, 2020 /CNW/ - Plastic is polluting ...
- Dow India launches Rethink+, India's first digital waste management program to recycle plastic wasteon October 6, 2020 at 4:30 am
PRNewswire/ -- Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd (Dow India) announced today the launch of its first digital waste management platform Rethink+. This is ...
- A factory in Indiana is turning plastic waste into eco-friendly fuel — and it's trying to revolutionize how we handle pollutionon October 4, 2020 at 7:47 pm
Brightmark, a waste solutions company, is aiming to turn 100,000 tons of plastic into products like fuel and wax next year.
- New type of plastic made from reclaimed wasteon October 1, 2020 at 7:33 am
A new type of plastic made of reclaimed waste readily degrades in less than a year. The substance that will soon serve to manufacture and break down mainly disposable products in an ecofriendly way ...
- New Super-Enzyme 'Cocktail' Eats Plastic 6 Times Faster, Offers Hope In Fight Against Waste Pollutionon September 29, 2020 at 6:53 pm
With the newly engineered super-enzyme, the researchers are now hoping to make rapid plastic degradation available on a commercial scale.
- A Newly Designed 'Super Enzyme' Could Be the Key to Ending Plastic Wasteon September 29, 2020 at 11:45 am
Plastic pollution threatens the integrity of ecosystems around the world. The United Nations calls on countries to curb plastic waste, improve recycling standards, and ultimately develop circular ...
via Bing News