Plastic recylcing

On ScienceDaily we found an interesting study:

All plastic waste could become new, high-quality plastic through advanced steam cracking

According to this report a Swedish research team has developed a process that enable to recycle any type plastic into new, high quality plastics. This method requires to break down plastic waste on the molecular level, which requires to heat up to 850 °C. The result of this is a gas that could then be used to produce new plastics.

We should note that in the context of orbital space settlements, we can easily heat up plastic waste, using solar furnaces. And through the sale of high quality plastics at market prices, we can reduce or even eliminate the need to introduce a waste disposal fee.

12 thoughts on “Plastic recylcing”

  1. Plastics should be converted into methanol, IMO. Plasma arc or microwave pyrolysis can convert plastics into syngas and the syngas can be synthesized into methanol.

    Methanol can be used for waste water treatment (denitrification), to power fuel cells, and for the production of plastics.

    Methanol can also be converted into gasoline and jet fuel.

    1. I think this would interest you: ‘Artificial leaf’ successfully produces clean gas. This would directly convert solar power into syngas, from water and carbondioxide from air, with no intermediate steps.

      As an alternative to methanol, syngas could be used to produce butanol, which can directly used into conventional gasoline engines.

      Also given that there will be still a huge demand for plastics, it makes sense not to convert all plastic waste into fuel but to recycle it into new high quality plastics. And as stated in the article cited and mentioned by me, the described technology does break down plastics into a gas from which new plastic would be produced.

      Additionally, we believe that within an orbital space habitat but internal combustion engines and motorized aviation should be banned, so there will be little use for either gasoline or kerosene (i.e. jet fuel).

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