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New recycling method fights plastic waste

Date:
September 21, 2023
Source:
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Summary:
Almost 80% of plastic in the waste stream ends up in landfills or accumulates in the environment. Scientists have now developed a technology that converts a conventionally unrecyclable mixture of plastic waste into useful chemicals, presenting a new strategy in the toolkit to combat global plastic waste.
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Almost 80% of plastic in the waste stream ends up in landfills or accumulates in the environment. Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have developed a technology that converts a conventionally unrecyclable mixture of plastic waste into useful chemicals, presenting a new strategy in the toolkit to combat global plastic waste.

The technology, invented by ORNL's Tomonori Saito and former postdoctoral researcher Md Arifuzzaman, uses an exceptionally efficient organocatalyst that allows selective deconstruction of various plastics, including a mixture of diverse consumer plastics. Arifuzzaman, now with Re-Du, is a current Innovation Crossroads fellow.

Production of chemicals from plastic waste requires less energy and releases fewer greenhouse gases than conventional petroleum-based production. Such a pathway provides a critical step toward a net-zero society, the scientists said.

"This concept offers highly efficient and low-carbon chemical recycling of plastics and presents a promising strategy toward establishing closed-loop circularity of plastics," said Saito, corresponding author of the study published in Materials Horizons.


Story Source:

Materials provided by DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Original written by Lawrence Bernard. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Md Arifuzzaman, Bobby G. Sumpter, Zoriana Demchuk, Changwoo Do, Mark A. Arnould, Md Anisur Rahman, Peng-Fei Cao, Ilja Popovs, Robert J. Davis, Sheng Dai, Tomonori Saito. Selective deconstruction of mixed plastics by a tailored organocatalyst. Materials Horizons, 2023; 10 (9): 3360 DOI: 10.1039/D3MH00801K

Cite This Page:

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "New recycling method fights plastic waste." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2023. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/09/230921105802.htm>.
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (2023, September 21). New recycling method fights plastic waste. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 13, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/09/230921105802.htm
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "New recycling method fights plastic waste." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/09/230921105802.htm (accessed April 13, 2024).

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