The ubiquitous plastic. It is everywhere. In the sea, of course, in fish and in water. It pollutes the beaches and the entire planet. There are microplastic particles in the air. There are not enough people who recycle to avoid this. How about a new material that recycles plastic? No, that does not exist. Or when?
Indian scientists have worked successfully with their British counterparts. Together they created a nanoporous material that could revolutionize plastic recycling. And it also interacts by reducing carbon dioxide. The name of this product is amorphous zeolite. This is what the researchers called a new material that recycles plastic.
It has other peculiarities that make it even more interesting. For example, you can convert carbon dioxide gas into fuel. Plastic can be broken down into chemical elements.
The properties of this substance are explained in the study published in the journal Nature Communications. It belongs to the class of solid acids. These types of acids have excellent catalytic properties and could replace the harmful liquid acids used in various technological processes. One of its uses would be the cracking or alkylation of hydrocarbons.
The biggest challenge for scientists was the inherent properties of naturally occurring solid acids. Crystallized zeolites have a high acid number but a low porosity. At the same time, amorphous aluminum silicates have reverse properties.
Therefore, the researchers set about creating a material that offers the best of both worlds. And they thought of a material that was strongly acidic and at the same time porous. The properties of the new material thus open up new possibilities. Below that is the decomposition of plastic and carbon dioxide gas. What would result? For example, extraction of hydrocarbons that can be used in the chemical industry or as fuel.
When new ideas like this emerge, our planet can contain plastic pollution. Let’s hope it’s done … before it’s too late.