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Upcycling: new catalytic process turns plastic bags into adhesives

Converting polyethylene packaging into high-value products incentivizes plastics recycling

22-Dec-2020

While many cities and eight states have banned single-use plastics, bags and other polyethylene packaging still clog landfills and pollute rivers and oceans. One major problem with recycling polyethylene, which makes up one-third of all plastic production worldwide, is economic: Recycled bags end ...

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Batteries, plastics, renewable raw materials: new ideas for the circular economy

BASF launches ambitious Circular Economy Program

11-Dec-2020

In a circular economy, the aim is to avoid waste, reuse products and recover resources. “Companies that can provide solutions for the transformation to a circular economy will have a crucial competitive advantage,” said Dr. Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and ...

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Bacteria use task division when breaking down plastic

Researchers outline mechanisms of marine bacterial communities degrading plastic materials

18-Nov-2020

A current study by Dr. Başak Öztürk and her team at the Leibniz Institute DSMZ-German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH in Braunschweig, Germany, investigated how marine organisms break down and utilise biologically degradable plastic. The researchers not only established the ...

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Bioinspired material to oust plastics

Tough, strong and heat-endure

11-Nov-2020

Modern life relies closely on plastics, even though the petroleum-based production creates serious environmental challenges. The industry opts out to use sustainable materials due to their limited mechanical properties or complex manufacturing processes. An advanced strategy to design and produce ...

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Coating plastics by porous nanofilm

New method for creating metal-organic framework thin films

11-Nov-2020

A research team has developed a new method for creating metal-organic framework (MOF) thin films that can be applied to sensors and electric devices. Like sponges, porous materials contain pores. The pore size affects the property of the material. For example, small pores create more absorbent ...

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Nano coatings with many functions

Materials scientists synthesize nanoscale gradient copolymers with contradictory properties for the first time

05-Nov-2020

Materials that simultaneously have contrasting properties – for example, they are soft on the one hand and hard on the other, the transition is gradual - could enable completely new applications like gradual anti-reflective lenses. In nature, such merging properties are indeed common, for example ...

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Well oriented: Catalysts for isotactic polar polypropylenes

Japanese scientists developed a new approach that allows more suitable catalysts to be produced much more easily

03-Nov-2020

Polypropylene (PP) is one of the most widely used plastics in the world. By controlling the spatial orientation of the propylene building blocks and additional polar components, it should be possible to create a new generation of attractive, engineered, specialty plastics, with improved ...

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Flash graphene rocks strategy for plastic waste

Rice University lab detours potential environmental hazard into useful material

03-Nov-2020

Plastic waste comes back in black as pristine graphene, thanks to ACDC. That's what Rice University scientists call the process they employed to make efficient use of waste plastic that would otherwise add to the planet's environmental woes. In this instance, the lab of Rice chemist James Tour ...

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Biodegradable flip-flops coming soon

Innovative bio-​propellant from gas and water

29-Oct-2020

Biodegradable plastics are very much on trend. But there are still very few sustainable alternatives for products containing foamed plastic. ETH Pioneer Fellow Zuzana Sediva is developing a process that could one day be used to make shoe soles and yoga mats from organic waste. Zuzana Sediva loves ...

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A first-of-its-kind catalyst mimics natural processes to break down plastics

The new catalyst is able to process polymers widely used in things like plastic grocery bags, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, toys, and food containers

22-Oct-2020

While plastics recycling is not new science, current processes don't make it economically worthwhile-- waste plastics get "down-cycled" into lower grade, less useful material. It's a challenge that continues to be an obstacle in tackling a growing global pollution crisis in single use plastics. A ...

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