A new chemical conversion process could change the world’s polyolefin waste, a form of plastic, into useful products, such as clean fuels and other items. Once the plastic is converted into naphtha, it can be used as a feedstock for other chemicals or further separated into specialty solvents or other products. The clean fuels derived from the waste generated each year can satisfy 4 percent of the annual demand for gasoline or diesel fuels.
Only 12 percent of the world’s waste plastic is incinerated and only 9% has been recycled. 79% has gone into landfills or the oceans.
There is 5 billion tons of plastic waste in landfills. 23% of the landfill plastic is polyolefin. Over 1 billion tons of fuel could be produced from landfill waste.
This conversion process should be net-energy positive and should have higher energy efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions than incineration and mechanical recycling.
Wang, Kai Jin, a graduate student, and Wan-Ting (Grace) Chen, a postdoctoral researcher at Purdue, are the inventors of the technology, which can convert more than 90 percent of polyolefin waste into many different products, including pure polymers, naphtha, fuels, or monomers. The team is collaborating with Gozdem Kilaz, an assistant professor in the School of Engineering Technology, and her doctoral research assistant, Petr Vozka, in the Fuel Laboratory of Renewable Energy of the School of Engineering Technology, to optimize the conversion process to produce high-quality gasoline or diesel fuels.
SOURCES- Youtube, Purdue University
Written By Brian Wang. Nextbigfuture
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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