Process developed by researchers to convert plastic waste!!

Process developed by researchers to convert plastic waste!!

A team of chemists at Purdue found a partial solution for plastic waster. The chemists discovered a way to convert polypropylenea type of plastic commonly used in toys, medical devices, and product packaging like potato chip bagsinto gasoline and diesel-like fuel. According to them, this fuel is pure enough to be used as blend stock, a main component of fuel used in motorized vehicles.Polypropylene waste accounts for just under a quarter of the estimated 5 billion tons of plastic that have amassed in the world’s landfills in the last 50 years.To turn polypropylene into fuel, they used supercritical water, a phase of water that demonstrates characteristics of both a liquid and a gas depending on the pressure and temperature conditions. Purdue chemist Linda Wang and her colleague’s heated water to between 716 and 932 degrees Fahrenheit at pressures approximately 2300 times greater than the atmospheric pressure at sea level.When purified polypropylene waste was added to the supercritical water, it was converted into oil within in a few hours, depending on the temperature. At around 850 degrees Fahrenheit, the conversion time was lowered to under an hour.The byproducts of this process include gasoline and diesel-like oils. This conversion process could be used to convert roughly 90 percent of the world’s polypropylene waste each year into fuel. The obvious benefit of this new conversion process is cleaning up the environment by finding a use for plastic waste. The produced fuel can be sold for a profit will also encourage the recycling industry to rapidly adopt it.Every year millions of tons of plastic flow into the oceans, where they are swallowed by wildlife and kill coral reefs, but nothing is done. This plastic is notoriously hard to clean up and poses a mounting threat to entire ocean ecosystems, which can lead to cascading environmental crises across the globe.It’s unclear how difficult it will be to implement this new plastic conversion process at scale, but at least for once it looks like there might actually be a “great future in plastics.”

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