New recycling method fights plastic waste

Valuable chemicals are selectively produced from mixed plastic waste by an ORNL-developed plastic deconstruction process.
Credit: Tomonori Saito, Md Arifuzzaman and Adam Malin, ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Turning mixed plastic into useful chemicals.

Almost 80% of plastic in the waste stream ends up in landfills or accumulates in the environment. Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have developed a technology that converts a conventionally unrecyclable mixture of plastic waste into useful chemicals, presenting a new strategy in the toolkit to combat global plastic waste.

The technology, invented by ORNL’s Tomonori Saito and former postdoctoral researcher Md Arifuzzaman, uses an exceptionally efficient organocatalyst that allows selective deconstruction of various plastics, including a mixture of diverse consumer plastics. Arifuzzaman, now with Re-Du, is a current Innovation Crossroads fellow.

Production of chemicals from plastic waste requires less energy and releases fewer greenhouse gases than conventional petroleum-based production. Such a pathway provides a critical step toward a net-zero society, the scientists said.

“This concept offers highly efficient and low-carbon chemical recycling of plastics and presents a promising strategy toward establishing closed-loop circularity of plastics,” said Saito, corresponding author of the study published in Materials Horizons– Lawrence Bernard

Journal: Materials Horizons
DOI: 10.1039/D3MH00801K

Media Contact

Emily R. Tomlin
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
tomliner@ornl.gov
Office: 8653412111

Media Contact

Emily R. Tomlin
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

All latest news from the category: Materials Sciences

Materials management deals with the research, development, manufacturing and processing of raw and industrial materials. Key aspects here are biological and medical issues, which play an increasingly important role in this field.

innovations-report offers in-depth articles related to the development and application of materials and the structure and properties of new materials.

Back to home

Comments (0)

Write a comment

Newest articles

ispace and University of Leicester collaborate on lunar night survival technology

ispace, inc. (ispace), a global lunar exploration company, and the University of Leicester, have agreed to collaborate on approaches to lunar night survivability for future ispace lunar lander and rover…

Technique to analyze RNA structures in ultra-high definition

This is where the Nottingham team, led by Dr Aditi Borkar, Assistant Professor in Molecular Biochemistry & Biophysics in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, has achieved a transformative…

Iron could be key to less expensive, greener lithium-ion batteries

What if a common element rather than scarce, expensive ones was a key component in electric car batteries? A collaboration co-led by an Oregon State University chemistry researcher is hoping…

Partners & Sponsors