Monday, 27 May, 2019

Scientists Create Plastic That Can Be Recycled Forever

Depolymerized Plastics Source Peter Christensen | Brett Evans | Angelique Scheuermann | Kathryn Loeffler Berkeley Lab
Elijah Vega | 11 May, 2019, 14:41

The "Holy Grail" of recycling may finally be here.

Endlessly recyclable plastic is now possible thanks to researchers at the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) in California.

"We're at a critical point where we need to think about the infrastructure needed to modernize recycling facilities for future waste sorting and processing", lead researcher Brett Helms said in a statement to Berkeley Lab News Center. The scientists continued playing around with PDK, until they discovered that PDK monomers could be remade into polymers that could form completely new plastic materials. According to an announcement from the lab, the new material is called poly (diketoenamine), aka PDK, and it can be broken down at the molecular level for reassembly into new things. Further testing showed that these reclaimed monomers are high quality enough that they can be used to produce high quality plastic.

We're of course a long way from sending our PDK forks to an acid tank at our local recycling plant. As a result, most plastics can not be recycled entirely - there's always some degree of loss, whether in how the plastic looks or how well it performs.

Unlike conventional plastics, the monomers of PDK plastic could be recovered and freed from any compounded additives simply by dunking the material in a highly acidic solution.

"Poly (diketoenamine) s "click" together from a wide variety of triketones and aromatic or aliphatic amines, yielding only water as a by-product", the study's abstract reads.

House Democrat issues subpoenas for Trump tax returns
Cohen said the president feared releasing his returns could lead to an audit and IRS tax penalties. Lawmakers have warned they would go to court if Mnuchin didn't hand over the information.

In a ideal world, plastic would never be on a one-way trip into landfill - it's a vision we've strived to realise for decades. Once chemicals are added to the plastic for use and consumption, the monomers bind with the chemicals and make it hard to be processed at recycling plants, the researchers said.

"We're interested in the chemistry that redirects plastic lifecycles from linear to circular", said Helms. "Recovered monomers can be re-manufactured into the same polymer formulation, without loss of performance, as well as other polymer formulations with differentiated properties". Often, the plastic won't be as durable in its next life.

Though PDK only exists in the lab now (meaning products won't be available for purchase for some time), the researchers are nonetheless excited by what they've discovered and the potential positive impact it could have.

Some would argue that plastics have played an important role in powering the robust world economy that has thrived since the end of World War II. "We see an opportunity to make a difference for where there are no recycling options". "With PDKs, the immutable bonds of conventional plastics are replaced with reversible bonds that allow the plastic to be recycled more effectively", Helms says.

The full study was published last month in the journal Nature Chemistry. That estimate, of course, is fairly meaningless when you consider the fact plastic continues to be produced in such quantities that the World Economic Forum estimates that the weight ratio of plastic garbage to fish in the ocean will be more than 1:1 by 2050.

To the eternal confusion of consumers everywhere, some of those plastics can be broken down into components and recycled relatively easily.

Recommended

  • Thiem ousts Federer in Madrid Open thriller to reach semis

    Thiem ousts Federer in Madrid Open thriller to reach semis

    It all led to a gripping third set, one which Federer and Monfils exchanged the lead, with both players gunning for the win. The 2009 French Open champion tried to hit back as he earned two break points in the following game, but Thiem held on.
    Hamilton on hat-trick as Ferrari seek revival

    Hamilton on hat-trick as Ferrari seek revival

    Hamilton is said by Mercedes to have approved of Musconi's re-designation. "The later we start doing that, the worse it looks". I will have to wait a while before making a final judgement, of course, but at the moment Charles seems to be super-fast.
    Improved Osaka reaches Madrid Open quarters

    Improved Osaka reaches Madrid Open quarters

    Barty needed three sets to get past Yulia Putintseva 4-6 6-1 6-2, while Bertens comfortably saw off Anastasija Sevastova 6-1 6-2. A star-studded line-up will contest the Madrid Open quarter-finals after a day for the favourites to savour.
  • Man United give Mike Phelan long-term deal to continue as assistant manager

    Man United give Mike Phelan long-term deal to continue as assistant manager

    But we've got to do it together. "It's not like (playing the video game) Football Manager". Solskjaer added: "Mike has been invaluable to me since we returned in December".
    Uber’s hyped-up IPO hits a few potholes on its first day

    Uber’s hyped-up IPO hits a few potholes on its first day

    Uber is one of those companies that's down to lose a buttload of money in pursuit of a monopoly over its industry. Boss Dara Khosrowshahi was among those who rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange to begin trading.
    Freddie Starr has died aged 76

    Freddie Starr has died aged 76

    Paying tribute to his friend on the ITV show today, he branded Freddie the "funniest man ever", reports the Daily Mirror . Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden said she hopes Starr is "remembered with a smile".
  • No Hurry to Sign China Deal

    No Hurry to Sign China Deal

    Trade Representative Robert Lightizer shook hands with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He as he left before walking into the White House. Ford spokeswoman Rachel McCleery said the auto company is most concerned about any retaliatory tariffs China might impose.
    Georgia Abortion Law: Governor Signs Controversial 'Heartbeat' Bill

    Georgia Abortion Law: Governor Signs Controversial 'Heartbeat' Bill

    It allows exceptions to protect the life or health of the mother, if a pregnancy is "medically futile" and for rape or incest. "We can not in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia ", she said .
    The Final Fantasy VII Remake Will Still Be Released In Multiple Parts

    The Final Fantasy VII Remake Will Still Be Released In Multiple Parts

    During Sony's State of Play presentation on Thursday, they finally dropped another glimpse at the long in development title. Final Fantasy 7 is now 21 years old, and fan interest in a remake has not shown any signs of subsiding.
  • Dozen migrants feared dead after boat capsizes off Tunisia Coast

    Dozen migrants feared dead after boat capsizes off Tunisia Coast

    The boat had left Libya on Thursday and was heading towards Italy when it sent out a distress signal overnight. A lot of them remain unaccounted for, according to the UN's the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
    David Luiz signs contract extension at Chelsea

    David Luiz signs contract extension at Chelsea

    Because in a match like this one you spend, usually, a lot of energy and then of course you have to go down and then it is not easy to go up again'.
    Comey says it's possible the Russians have something compromising on Trump

    Comey says it's possible the Russians have something compromising on Trump

    Speaking to the press earlier in the day, Trump built upon earlier accusations about Comey and Mueller. Trump didn't take being mocked and otherwise derided throughout the town hall laying down.

The Rush: 76ers and Blazers force game 7s The Rush: 76ers and Blazers force game 7s The game sets up an epic showdown in Game 7 on Sunday in Toronto. Some real sassy dudes over there, some front runners.

Navy joins exercises in South China Sea Navy joins exercises in South China Sea Ships from the four countries transited worldwide waters to Changi, Singapore where the second phase of the exercise will conclude.

Rio set to replace Interlagos as Brazil GP host Rio set to replace Interlagos as Brazil GP host The new Deodoro circuit will be built on land that has been given up by the army and is set to be designed by Hermann Tilke.

WhatsApp will stop working on all Windows smartphones WhatsApp will stop working on all Windows smartphones The platform will allow WhatsApp messenger to work across all Windows 10 devices, including Xbox One and its other mobile devices. This means that some WhatsApp features will stop working as the D day approaches.

Neymar makes decision on PSG future, European heavyweights on high alert Neymar makes decision on PSG future, European heavyweights on high alert Speaking at a news conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Angers , coach Thomas Tuchel said: "The penalty is normal. The French football federation's disciplinary commission added a suspended two-match ban to its punishment.

James Cameron praises Avengers: Endgame for 'sinking' Titanic at box office James Cameron praises Avengers: Endgame for 'sinking' Titanic at box office The number one top-grossing movie of all time also happens to be a James Cameron film: Avatar . Records were meant to be broken, and that includes the ones set at the global box office.

North Korea Launches Short-Range Missiles, Reports Say North Korea Launches Short-Range Missiles, Reports Say In an interview with Politico, Trump downplayed the missile tests by North Korea , calling them " very standard stuff ". Signatories included the United States and South Korea, as well as nations in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe.

Commandos Marine killed in hostage rescue mission Commandos Marine killed in hostage rescue mission The badly disfigured body of their guide was found shortly after they disappeared, as well as their abandoned four-wheel Toyota truck.

Liverpool are planning two victory parades for Premier League and Champions League Liverpool are planning two victory parades for Premier League and Champions League That is because Liverpool , who have 94, have taken the battle to the final game of the season in a remarkable title race. We focus on the game - how we want to play - and not worry too much. "But of course, to get more credit, you have to win".

China holds appeal hearing for Canadian sentenced to death China holds appeal hearing for Canadian sentenced to death Meng's defense lawyer says they will argue that she didn't misrepresent Huawei's business activities in Iran with the banks. But the hearing could indicate how the legal battle will unfold, which some lawyers expect to take more than two years.

Reserve Bank keeps cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent Reserve Bank keeps cash rate on hold at 1.5 per cent For the Australian dollar as a whole, this may benefit in the coming months from what appears to be a relatively hawkish RBA. The Reserve Bank has held its fire on interest rates, keeping the cash rate on hold.

Athletics' Mike Fiers throws second no-hitter of career Athletics' Mike Fiers throws second no-hitter of career Profar provided some insurance with a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh frame, giving the Athletics a 2-0 edge. Chapman was near second base on a defensive shift and the grounder hit off his glove and landed in the outfield.

Joel Embiid records highest plus-minus of his career in Game 6 Joel Embiid records highest plus-minus of his career in Game 6 Barkley and O'Neal assert that for a true National Basketball Association star it's supposed to go the other way. O'Neal: "I was thinking about when I played for the great Phil Jackson and the great Pat Riley".

MRI Confirms Strained Right Calf for Kevin Durant | Golden State Warriors MRI Confirms Strained Right Calf for Kevin Durant | Golden State Warriors At first, many thought it was an Achilles injury, but later, the team announced that Durant suffered a strained right calf. By comparison, Houston was favored by 3.5 at home in Game 3 and Golden State was favored by 1 in Game 4 on the road.

Pope issues new norms for reporting, investigating clergy abuse Pope issues new norms for reporting, investigating clergy abuse A proclamation was issued Thursday by the Vatican about how to handle sex abuse allegations in the Roman Catholic Church. Dioceses must establish the reporting system and confirm it is in place to the local Vatican embassy by June 1, 2020.