New Plastic that Disappears When You Want It To

NDSU, Dan Koeck Researchers at North Dakota State University, Fargo, have developed a process using biomass to create plastic which can broken down by exposing it to ultraviolet light at 350 nanometers for three hours.
NDSU, Dan Koeck
Researchers at North Dakota State University, Fargo, have developed a process using biomass to create plastic which can broken down by exposing it to ultraviolet light at 350 nanometers for three hours.

Ultimate recycling

Plastic populates our world through everything from electronics to packaging and vehicles. Once discarded, it resides almost permanently in landfills and oceans. A discovery by researchers at North Dakota State University, Fargo, holds scientific promise that could lead to a new type of plastic that can be broken down when exposed to a specific type of light and is reduced back to molecules, which could then be used to create new plastic.

Published in Angewandte Chemie, a leading international journal, the proof of concept experiment outlines the work of researchers in the Center for Sustainable Materials Science at NDSU. The multidisciplinary team includes researchers from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry: Mukund Sibi, university distinguished professor; Sivaguru Jayaraman, James A. Meier professor; postdoctoral fellow Saravana Rajendran; graduate student Ramya Raghunathan; postdoctoral fellow Retheesh Krishnan; and staff scientist Angel Ugrinov; as well as Dean Webster, professor and chair of the Department of Coatings and Polymeric Materials and postdoctoral fellow Ivan Hevus.

The research team focuses on biomass, using oilseed from agricultural crops, cellulose, lignin and sucrose to generate building blocks of molecules that are made into polymers to create plastics. One of the grand challenges for the 21st century is sustainability that lessens dependency on fossil fuels. NDSU, in association with the North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR), established the Center for Sustainable Materials Science to develop a program for the preparation of polymers and composites using biomass, a renewable resource.

“Real sustainability involves breaking it back into the building blocks. We have shown that we can break it down into the building blocks and re-make the polymer,” said Dr. Sibi.

In their proof of concept experiment, the group used fructose, found commonly in fruit, to create a solution of molecules, which was then converted to a plastic (polymer). By exposing the plastic to ultraviolet light at 350 nanometers for three hours, researchers degraded the plastic, reducing it back to the soluble building block molecules from which it began.

Plastics usually don’t decay for hundreds of years, creating solid waste issues. They generally degrade slowly, potentially leaching chemicals into the environment or creating toxins in the air when burned.

“This cradle-to-cradle approach to create a plastic which can be degraded easily offers scientific potential for eventual products that could lessen dependence on fossil fuels and decrease the amount of raw materials needed,” said Dr. Webster.

Read more . . .  


The Latest on: Plastics that can disappear

[google_news title=”” keyword=”Plastics that can disappear” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]

via Google News

See Also


The Latest on: Plastics that can disappear
  • Big brands are 'failing to curb plastic sachet use'
    on May 24, 2024 at 11:36 am

    Small plastic sachets commonly used in low- and middle-income countries must be phased out and packaging reuse systems promoted, urge campaigners and waste pickers, as new analysis reveals major ...

  • Guest Column: What's the problem of plastic and how we can prevent it
    on May 23, 2024 at 4:04 pm

    Even in this spiral of plastic, there is a possibility we can solve the problem. Recycling is a great way to help the environment. Food, styrofoam, diapers, and items that have touched food cannot be ...

  • Tiny plastic shards found in human testicles, study says
    on May 21, 2024 at 1:51 pm

    “This suggests the human body can eliminate these plastics.” But there is a downside. The finding also suggests that the increased energy needs of a younger testicle may “also pull more ...

  • This New Plastic Disappears When You Don't Need It Anymore
    on May 13, 2024 at 4:00 am

    It's a type of bacteria that has previously been linked to the breaking down of plastic, and it can survive in a dormant state without ... 90 percent of the plastic had disappeared in five months.

  • Greening plastics will require more from industry, BASF CEO says
    on May 8, 2024 at 9:52 am

    The company said its Ccycled products — the monomers it makes from chemical recycling — can be used as feedstock to make engineering plastics, super-absorbent plastics and polyurethane foams.

  • Are You Recycling Your Plastics the Right Way? What You Need to Know
    on May 6, 2024 at 2:30 pm

    Recycling your plastics is a great way to help the environment, but you can't simply toss any water bottle or cellophane wrapper into the recycling bin -- some plastics are better off in the trash.

  • The fight over the future of plastics
    on April 24, 2024 at 5:00 pm

    Ahead of the latest round of talks, European researchers published a database of more than 16,000 chemicals plastics can contain, many of which have been linked to cancer risks and damage to the ...

  • Which foods have the most plastics? You may be surprised
    on April 22, 2024 at 7:53 am

    Even vegetarians can’t escape, according to a 2021 study. If the plastic is small enough, fruits and vegetables can absorb microplastics through their root systems and transfer those chemical ...

  • Babies vs. Plastics: The public health problem of our time—and how you can help
    on April 22, 2024 at 7:42 am

    All that plastic breaks down into microscopic fragments that can quickly enter our bodies. Studies show that microplastics can enter our bloodstream and even end up in our brains, causing ...

  • Kids vs. Plastic
    on April 20, 2024 at 7:21 am

    But that single-use plastic doesn't disappear when you're done with it: Most ends up in the ocean, where it can entangle animals or make them sick. Watch this DIY series of eco-friendly crafts and ...

via  Bing News



What's Your Reaction?
Don't Like it!
I Like it!
Scroll To Top