1. Researcher uses music to manage networks
  2. The evolution of doors and windows
  3. Day trips from Newcastle
  4. Warwickshire the heart of English history
  5. Periodic table still influencing today’s research
  6. Engineers translate brain signals directly into speech
  7. Manchester’s cultural must-sees the top sights in a changing city
  8. Scratching beneath the surface of veneers
  9. Smart home tests first elder care robot
  10. Charting a path to cheaper flexible solar cells
  11. The Photographer and Architecture
  12. Multicolor holography technology could enable extremely compact 3D displays
  13. Highlights of hidden England – Lincoln and beyond
  14. Using drones to tackle climate change
  15. At the Flip of a Switch
  16. Variations in seafloor create freak ocean waves
  17. Scientists develop first fabric to automatically cool or insulate depending on conditions
  18. Going underground exploring the best sights below London
  19. Concrete Utopia
  20. New fuel cell concept brings biological design to better electricity generation
  21. Quantum transfer at the push of a button
  22. Physicists create exotic electron liquid
  23. Two days in Oxford
  24. Royal Academy expansion reveals hidden life of art schools
  25. Millions of tons of plastic waste could be turned into clean fuels, other products
  26. Speed of light toward a future quantum internet
  27. A perfect day in London
  28. Like something from Pompeii’ – Battersea Arts Centre’s scorching resurrection
  29. Converting Wi-Fi signals to electricity with new 2D materials
  30. After making history, NASA’s tiny deep-space satellites go silent
  31. Night sky Britain aurora-spotting and stargazing in England, Scotland and Wales
  32. London through the ages architectural insights into the capital’s history
  33. Fasting ramps up human metabolism, study shows
  34. Scientists find increase in asteroid impacts on ancient Earth by studying the Moon
  35. Artificial intelligence can identify microscopic marine organisms
  36. Living by the tides on Northumberland’s Holy Island
  37. HP is making a new VR headset with a super high resolution
  38. HOW A NEW SATELLITE CONSTELLATION COULD ALLOW US TO TRACK PLANES ALL OVER THE GLOBE
  39. An architectural tour of Liverpool’s fascinating history
  40. Patisandhika and Daniel Mitchell complete A Brutalist Tropical Home in Bali
  41. These genetic ‘goggles’ could help us engineer wildly resilient crops
  42. Best things to do in Yorkshire in spring
Millions of tons of plastic waste could be turned into clean fuels, other products

The United Nations estimates that more than 8 million tons of plastics flow into the oceans each year. A new chemical conversion process could transform the world’s polyolefin waste, a form of plastic, into useful products, such as clean fuels and other items.

“Our strategy is to create a driving force for recycling by converting polyolefin waste into a wide range of valuable products, including polymers, naphtha (a mixture of hydrocarbons), or clean fuels,” said Linda Wang, the Maxine Spencer Nichols Professor in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University and leader of the research team developing this technology. “Our conversion technology has the potential to boost the profits of the recycling industry and shrink the world’s plastic waste stock.”

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.

The conversion process incorporates selective extraction and hydrothermal liquefaction. 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 polyolefin waste generated each year can satisfy 4 percent of the annual demand for gasoline or diesel fuels. Some results of Wang’s study were published Jan. 29 in ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering.

Wang became inspired to create this technology after reading about the plastic waste pollution of the oceans, ground water, and the environment. Of all the plastics produced over the past 65 years (8.3 billion tons), about 12 percent have been incinerated and only 9 percent have been recycled. The remaining 79 percent have gone into landfills or the oceans. The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2050 the oceans will hold more plastic waste than fish if the waste continues to be dumped into bodies of water.

Wang said the technology could convert up to 90 percent of the polyolefin plastic.

“Plastic waste disposal, whether recycled or thrown away, does not mean the end of the story,” Wang said. “These plastics degrade slowly and release toxic microplastics and chemicals into the land and the water. This is a catastrophe, because once these pollutants are in the oceans, they are impossible to retrieve completely.”

The work aligns with Purdue’s Giant Leaps celebration, acknowledging the global advancements in sustainability as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. This is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.

Wang said she hopes her technology will stimulate the recycling industry to reduce the rapidly rising amount of plastic waste. She and her team are looking for investors or partners to assist with demonstrating this technology at a commercial scale.

Wang’s technology is patented through the Purdue Research Foundation’s Office of Technology Commercialization.

Cart

Werk Press

VPS-HOST digital universe is the first stop for savvy readers. Our website is the companion tool for smart internet readers. For cities around the globe, travellers can find things to do, places to eat, where to shop, entertainment options and event happenings. Timely stories and blog content, plus a resource of 50,000+ things to do for people, coupled with our funny blogs, makes us a a useful resource to today’s audience.