Scientists have developed a system capable of transforming plastic waste and greenhouse gases into sustainable fuels and other valuable products. The system is powered by solar energy.
The achievement is the work of the team of Subhajit Bhattacharjee and Erwin Reisner, both from the University of Cambridge in the UK.
The system can convert two waste streams into two chemicals at the same time. It is the first time that something like this has been achieved in a reactor powered by solar energy.
The reactor converts carbon dioxide (CO2) and plastics into different chemical substances, useful for various sectors of industry.
In system tests, CO2 was turned into a gas that is a key component of sustainable liquid fuels, and plastic bottles were turned into glycolic acid, widely used in the cosmetics industry.
The system can be easily adapted to produce different substances. To do this, it is enough to change the type of catalyst used in the reactor.
The new system can transform plastic waste, as well as greenhouse gases, into industrially useful substances, using solar energy as the only energy source. (Photo: University of Cambridge)
Converting plastic and greenhouse gases – two of the biggest environmental threats facing our world – into useful and valuable products using solar energy is an important step in the transition to a more sustainable and circular economy.
Bhattacharjee and his colleagues discuss the technical details of their system in the academic journal Nature Synthesis, under the title “Photoelectrochemical CO2-to-fuel conversion with simultaneous plastic reforming.” (Font: NCYT by Amazings)