Scientists develop new technique to make fuel from plastic; can be used in motor vehicles

Plastic pollution
Plastic waste Pixabay

A recent study has detailed about a new technique which will help to make fuel from plastic. The research conducted by a team of scientists at Purdue found that this technique will turn nearly a quarter of earth's plastic waste into fuels like gasoline and diesel-like fuel.

As per the new research, published in the journal Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering, the new invention will be very crucial for earth, as more than 300 million tons of plastic finds its way to a landfill or into the environment and it usually takes hundreds of years to decompose. In the meantime, this non-decomposed plastic takes away the lives of various wild animals.

"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. Our conversion technology has the potential to boost the profits of the recycling industry and shrink the world's plastic waste stock," said Linda Wang, a researcher at Purdue University in a recent statement.

During the study, Purdue researchers found a way to convert polypropylene - a type of plastic commonly used in toys, packages, and medical devices into diesel-like fuel. Further study revealed that this fuel is good enough to use as a blendstock, a fuel that can be used in motor vehicles.

Researchers also added that this conversion process will help to convert nearly 90 percent of the world's polypropylene deposit. It should be also noted that polypropylene accounts for about 23 percent of plastic waste that's been deposited on the earth every year.

Wang also said this new technique will be very vital in recovering and repurposing plastic, adding that "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."

A few months back, scientists at the University of Illinois had developed a catalyst capable of splitting water molecules to produce hydrogen fuel. Researchers also added that this new technique will play a crucial role in solving the problem of the energy crisis in the world.