The WSU research team’s new technology enables plastics to be converted into injected fuel ingredients in just one hour. The research was published in the journal Chem Catalysis.
Pullman, WA (Merxwire) – No one wants the world to be full of undecomposable garbage. In order to protect the earth, we must recycle plastics. But how to make recycling plastics economically beneficial? The research team at Washington State University (WSU) converts plastics into jet fuel ingredients within an hour.
WSU researchers Hongfei Lin and Chuhua Jia have developed a new technology that can convert plastics into aviation fuel and other valuable products through catalysts and chemical reactions, making the reuse of plastics easier and more efficient. It only takes one hour to convert plastics into fuel components.
The new technology reduces plastics into hydrocarbons. This organic compound composed of hydrogen and carbon can be used as the basis for different fuels and converted into aviation fuel or other economic chemicals.
The new technology can convert 90% of plastics into jet fuel components and other valuable hydrocarbons within an hour at moderate temperatures and can easily fine-tune the process to produce the desired product.
“In the recycling industry, the cost of recycling is key,” Lin said. “This work is a milestone for us to advance this new technology to commercialization.”
“Depending on the market, they can tune to what product they want to generate,” says study author Hongfei Lin. “They have flexibility. The application of this efficient process may provide a promising approach for selectively producing high-value products from waste polyethylene .”
In the process, the researchers converted polyethylene (plastic from shopping bags to shampoo bottles) into hydrocarbons. And now they are trying to expand the scale, looking forward to commercializing the technology, and hope to optimize the technology to deal with other forms of plastic waste.
Related information: New technology converts waste plastics to jet fuel in an hour