Put abandoned Christmas trees to good use : Turn them into paint and food sweeteners!
Every year, thousands of Christmas trees are abandoned once the festive season gets over. Most of them find their way to the landfills, where their leaves (pine needles) take much more time to decompose as compared to other leaves.
Now Cynthia Kartey, a PhD student from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has found that useful products can be made from the chemicals extracted from pine needles when processed.
According to Cynthia, with the aid of heat and solvents such as glycerol, which is cheap and environmentally friendly, the chemical structure of pine needles is broken down into a liquid product (bio-oil) and a solid by-product (bio-char).
The bio-oil typically contains glucose, acetic acid and phenol. These chemicals are used in many industries — glucose in the production of sweeteners for food, acetic acid for making paint, adhesives and even vinegar.
The process is sustainable and creates zero waste as the solid by-product can be useful too in other industrial chemical processes.
Read more here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181227102059.htm