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BIO FUEL
Turning car plastics into foams with coconut oil
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Jun 12, 2017


illustration only

End-of-life vehicles, with their plastic, metal and rubber components, are responsible for millions of tons of waste around the world each year. Now, one team reports in ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering that the plastic components in these vehicles can be recycled with coconut oil and re-used as foams for the construction, packaging and automotive industries.

Recycled polycarbonate (PC) and polyurethane (PUR) are ideal for building insulation, refrigerators, cushions and packaging products. But it can be challenging for plastic car components to get to that point.

Some plastic wastes from vehicles can be easily reprocessed; however, PC and PUR materials require a more arduous chemical recycling method. In addition, paints and coatings on PC and PUR plastics from cars typically interfere with the process, causing the recycled product to deteriorate.

And simply adding some types of recycled PC and PUR materials to existing insulation foams, for example, can make the foams too dense or brittle. Although researchers have developed various chemical recycling techniques, very few have tried to make useable products with them.

Hynek Benes, Aleksander Prociak and colleagues wanted to take a new approach to converting PC and PUR into recycled materials, with the hopes of increasing their applications.

The researchers previously had shown that coconut oil could degrade PC. Here, the team developed a way to recover PC and PUR from waste car plastics with coconut oil and microwaves. This created a renewable and recycled product that did not degrade.

This product can be combined with an existing foam and the integrity of the insulation foam is maintained. Furthermore, this new material was stable at high temperatures, making it ideal for incorporation into insulating materials for the construction industry.

The authors acknowledge funding from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and Ministry of Science and Higher Education in the frame of Polish-Czech bilateral project and from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, National Sustainability Program (European Commission).

The study is freely available as an Editor's Choice article here.

BIO FUEL
Scientists use new technique to recycle plant material into stock chemicals
Washington (UPI) Jun 7, 2017
Recycling can encompass more than just materials like plastics and paper. Important chemicals can also be recovered and reused. Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new technique for recycling plant material into stock chemicals, or commodity chemicals. When recycling plant materials, the target is lignin, a complex organic polymer that provides structure to ... read more

Related Links
American Chemical Society
Bio Fuel Technology and Application News

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