Fuel Made From Waste Plastic

Posted on Tuesday, 16 October 2018 by CarTakeBack

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Plastic waste is hitting the headlines a lot lately, and it's encouraging people to come up with solutions. Research scientists at Swansea University in Wales have developed a way to turn plastic into fuel that could be used to run cars.

Lead by Dr Moritz Kuehnel, the team of scientists have created a process that turns plastic, that may be expensive to wash and purify to be ready for recycling, into hydrogen. The plastic has light absorbing material added before being put in an alkaline solution. When this mix is exposed to sunlight, hydrogen is created.

Plastic washed up on a beach.

The team thinks that this process could be a cheaper alternative to traditional plastic recycling because any type of plastic can be used, and you do not need to go through the expensive process of cleaning and sorting it.

Dr Moritz Kuehnel has said "The beauty of this process is that it’s not very picky. It can degrade all sorts of waste. Even if there is food or a bit of grease from a margarine tub, it doesn’t stop the reaction, it makes it better."

As an added bonus, the remains left over from the process are clean, and can be recycled into making new plastic.

The work, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council, and an Austrian petrochemical Company, is a few years away from the possibility of it being rolled out for use commercially, but it's a very promising project that we are excited to see progress.

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