A new type of catalyst breaks down polyolefin plastics into new, useful products. This project is part of a new strategy to reduce the amount of plastic waste and its impact on our environment, as well as recover value that is lost when plastics are thrown away. The catalyst was developed by a team from the Institute for Cooperative Upcycling of Plastic (iCOUP), a U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Frontier Research Center.
Carbon-negative concrete products to be formed from upcycled waste
The cement industry emits more than 3 gigatons of carbon dioxide worldwide from the manufacturing of about 4.5 gigatons of cement every year because of its carbon-dioxide- and energy-intensive processing. This amount of cement is necessary to produce the concrete that shapes modern infrastructure.
Upcycling is the new recycling
The world generates about 300 million tons of plastic waste annually, and more than 90% of all plastic ever made has never been recycled. Part of what drives all that waste into landfills or into the environment is the difficulty of recycling plastic, which is designed to last for a very long time. Traditional plastic recycling suffers from a fundamental flaw, said Marcus Foston: there’s no financial incentive for companies to do it.
Researchers recycle CDs into flexible biosensors
New research from Binghamton University, State University of New York offers a second life for CDs: Turn them into flexible biosensors that are inexpensive and easy to manufacture.
Closed-loop additive manufacturing fueled by upcycled plastic
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an upcycling approach that adds value to discarded plastics for reuse in additive manufacturing, or 3D printing. The readily adoptable, scalable method introduces a closed-loop strategy that could globally reduce plastic waste and cut carbon emissions tied to plastic production.
In a new issue of Science, devoted to the plastics problem, University of Delaware researchers LaShanda Korley and Thomas Epps, III, join collaborators in calling for new approaches to plastics design, production and use, with the goal of keeping plastics out of landfills and waterways, reusing the valuable resources they represent indefinitely in a “circular” plastics economy.
NUS researchers develop novel process that turns branches and prawn shells into nutritional supplements and medicine
Researchers from NUS Engineering have developed a novel conversion approach that marries chemical and biological processes to produce high-value amino acids such as L-DOPA and L-Proline from low-cost, abundant waste material like crustacean shells and sawdust.
Ames Lab-led research team wins a $12.8M boost from the Department of Energy to tackle plastic upcycling science
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory will lead the Institute for Cooperative Upcycling of Plastics (iCOUP) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC), with $12.8 million in funding over four years.
New recycling method could make polyurethane sustainable
Researchers report in ACS Central Science a way to recycle used polyurethanes into equivalent or even higher-value items.