New Chemical Process Can Convert Nearly a Quarter of All Plastic Waste Into Fuel
Saturday February 9, 2019. 04:30 AM , from Slashdot
To turn polypropylene into fuel, the researchers 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 colleagues 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. According to the researchers, their conversion process could be used to convert roughly 90 percent of the world's polypropylene waste each year into fuel.
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