A new method outlined in a study published in Green Chemistry could lead to plastic bottles becoming raw material capable of creating anything from motorcycle parts to smart phones.
“We found a way to immediately turn this into something that’s stronger and better, and we hope that will provide people the incentive to upcycle this stuff instead of just toss it away,” says Yu-Chung Chang, one of the authors in the study in Green Chemistry.
If the study can be duplicated in real life, then the ramifications are hopeful across a number of fronts, from cleaning up garbage sites to creating cheap resources for people to create what they want right where they live.
Here is more from Futurity.org
Once the PLA was broken down to its basic building blocks, the researchers rebuilt the plastic and created a type of photo-curable liquid resin that is commonly used as printing “ink” for 3D printers. When it was used in a 3D printer and cured into plastic pieces, the product showed equal or better mechanical and thermal properties than commercially available resins.
This is a theory waiting to be proven, and more often than not theory leads to failure. It remains to be seen how this will pan out, but it’s probably not the only effort to solve the same problem and create the same opportunity, clean up the plastic pollution and create cheap resources for local manufacturing, local industry.
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