This new technique could melt plastic waste into fuel for hydrogen cars
Researchers at the Swansea University have developed an incredible technique that transforms plastic trash into hydrogen which can be used as a fuel for cars. The process is cheaper than recycling as it uses all kinds of plastic, and the waste need not even be cleaned first.
Dr. Moritz Kuehnel of the University’s chemistry department explains how light-absorbing material are added to the plastic, before it is placed in an alkaline solution and then exposed to sunlight, which creates hydrogen.
Most plastic bottles are made from PET which can be recycled but often end up being burned or thrown into landfill.
Dr. Kuehnel says: “But even if you do recycle it, it needs to be very pure – so only PET, nothing else mixed in with it… and it has to be clean, no grease, no oil. Potentially, you need to wash it which is very expensive, and even if you do all of that, the plastic you get isn’t always as nice as virgin material. The beauty of this process is that it’s not very picky. It can degrade all sorts of waste.”