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Chemical Reduction of Plastics

Researchers began to try to extract the chemical constituents in plastics for reuse. The process of plastic waste recycling is to cut the long chain of the polymer and restore its original properties. The cracked raw materials can be used to make new plastics. Some methods of plastic recycling are to promote the chemical cracking of combined carbon atoms by adding chemical elements, or to promote their thermal cracking by adding energy.


Bayer Company in Germany developed a hydrolytic chemical reduction method to crack PUC sponge pad. Tests show that chemical reduction is technically feasible, but it can only be used to treat clean plastics, such as corner powders and other plastic wastes produced in the manufacturing process. Plastics used in households that are contaminated with other contaminants can hardly be treated by chemical decomposition. The application of this reduction method will not make great use of hydrolysis to treat wastes until the 21st century. Some new chemical decomposition methods are still under study. Ford Motor Company is currently using esterification to treat automotive waste plastic parts.


Renser Institute of Technology of USA has developed a solution that can decompose plastic waste. The patented solution is heated with six different types of plastics mixed together. Six polymers can be extracted at different temperatures. In the experiment, polystyrene plastic fragments and related solutions were mixed into a dissolved state at room temperature, heated in a sealed container, and then they were sent into a „flash chamber“ with low pressure. The solution evaporated rapidly (recycling and reusing), leaving the reusable pure polystyrene.


It is said that the waste plastic recycling equipment used in the research can purify 1 kg of polymer per hour. The New York State Government and Nicara Mohawk Electric Power Company are planning to build a small pilot plant together. Investors claim that after the plant is completed, 4 tons of polymer raw materials can be recycled per hour. Its cost is only 30% of the raw material, which has obvious commercial value.

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