With the amount of plastic increasing every day, scientists around the world are developing methods to reduce the amount of these waste as much as possible. And on December 11, 2019, a team of researchers from Nanyang Technological University invented ways to turn plastics into valuable chemicals. With catalysts and solar energy
In this experiment, the main hero is the catalyst, which contains Vanadium element, although its name looks spectacular in the creation, we encountered it more often than expected. Because this element is commonly used in alloy steel for automobile production Or aluminum alloys for aircraft frame fabrication, Therefore, the catalyst in this experiment it’s easy to find and use only a small amount
The approximate steps in the experiment are mixing liquid plastic (Dissolved at 85 degrees Celsius heat) with the catalyst in the container Then placed it in the area in which sunlight can appear (For this experiment the light from the lamp). After 6 days, those liquid plastic transformed into formic acid, which is used as a preservative, antiseptic. Or use as fuel in power plants
The mechanism of the Vanadium catalyst is the separation of carbon-carbon bonds. In the structure of the plastic apart (Usually, this bond requires a lot of heat to destroy it all. Causing more air pollution) using solar energy And with the addition of alcohol Until it forms formic acid
Assistant Professor Soo Han Sen, one of the scientist’s team Said that the use of this catalyst Will allow us to eliminate difficult-to-digest plastics such as Polyethylene without causing pollution to the environment And the catalyst does not contain heavy metals Therefore definitely environmentally friendly
Currently, most plastic waste disposal also uses methods of burning Which produces huge amounts of greenhouse gases and causing global warming. Hopefully, the experiment will be developed to be an environmentally friendly plastic waste disposal method. It is also a by-product of chemicals that are useful in the industrial sector.