Hydrocracking our way to recycling plastic waste

Researchers at the University of Delaware’s Center for Plastics Innovation (CPI) have developed a process called hydrocracking to convert single-use plastic waste into ready-to-use molecules for jet fuels, diesel and lubricants. The process requires 50% less energy than other technologies and doesn’t add carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And it can treat a variety of plastics, even when they are mixed together.

With this new science, plastics could see a second life as biodegradable surfactants

Scientists at the Institute for Cooperative Upcycling of Plastics (iCOUP) have discovered a chemical process that provides biodegradable chemicals, which are used as surfactants and detergents in a range of applications, from discarded plastics.

A first-of-its-kind catalyst mimics natural processes to break down plastic and produce valuable new products

A team of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory has developed a first-of-its-kind catalyst that is able to process polyolefin plastics, types of polymers widely used in things like plastic grocery bags, milk jugs, shampoo bottles, toys, and food containers.