The most global and one of the most terrible problems facing the Earth now is the abundance of plastic waste. According to environmentalists, there are currently about 5 billion tons of plastic in landfills and oceans that emit toxic chemicals and pollute the habitats of animals and people. Scientists are looking for a way to eliminate this problem: someone creates environmental materials, and someone comes up with technology to convert waste into fuel. A group of chemists from Purdue University recently shared their new development.
It has developed a process that is able to convert plastic waste into a substance similar to gasoline and diesel fuel. The raw material for its creation is polypropylene, which is contained in plastic toys, medical devices and food packaging. The idea of the researchers is to burn propylene polymers and dissolve them in water between the liquid and gaseous state.
It is noteworthy that the process should be carried out at a temperature of 380-500 degrees Celsius and a pressure of 2300 times higher than above sea level. The transformation takes place within one hour-after this time, researchers receive fuel of such purity that it can be used in cars and other equipment.
According to the leading researcher Linda van, polypropylene is about a quarter of 5 billion tons of plastic waste in the world. Their technology is able to turn 90% of polypropylene into useful fuel. When exactly the technology will be implemented on a large scale is unknown, but the developers hope for great interest from the waste processing industry.
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