It seems that there might be a solution to the problem of plastic waste at last. A team of scientists from the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC), and the University of California, Irvine, discovered a method of turning millions of tons of plastic waste into liquid fuel.
The University of California, Irvine (UCI), has 192 degree programs, over 300,000 students, and was founded in 1965.
According to Zhibin Guan, UCI chemist, synthetic plastic is used in various ways but proved to be very dangerous for the environment because it was employed in high quantities. Therefore, experts tried to find a way to deal with plastic pollution and to come up with an efficient strategy to turn this waste into fuel.
Zheng Huang and Zhibin Guan, together with their team discovered how to deal with the strong bonds of polyethylene, which is the most commercially used form of plastic. Scientists discovered how to make polymer molecules useful for a liquid fuel by focusing their work on a particular type of hydrocarbon molecules, known as alkanes.
Furthermore, they used bottles, plastic bags and other sources of trash to see if they can be recycled into a possible source of energy. Presently, other experts use a different method to tackle the strong bonds of the polymers by heating the plastic to over 700 degrees Fahrenheit or by using radicals, a type of caustic chemicals.
On the other hand, the new cross-alkane metathesis proved to be a more efficient process. Plus, this method is based on oil refining byproducts. Nevertheless, experts still need to find a way to boost the lifetime and activity of the catalyst.
If scientists achieve this step, the costs will significantly drop off, and there will be various catalytic processes that will be able to recycle other forms of plastic into liquid fuel. It means that it will be one of the biggest ecological improvements that were ever accomplished in the history of humanity.
Hopefully, this scientific discovery will help and preserve the world ecosystem which has been in a critical condition over the last few decades. Scientists will double their efforts to make sure that this strategy is safe and efficient enough to successfully reduce all plastic waste throughout the world.