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Sep 28, 2017

It is reported, Shanghai institute of organic chemistry, researchers are using cross metathesis reaction of alkane strategy, research will plastic garbage "into", the process including polyethylene and short chain alkanes metathesis, thereby refining diesel oil.


Plastic products are everywhere in modern society.They are popular with people because they are easy to carry. However, the disposable disposable phenomenon has greatly affected human life.The "white pollution" caused by waste plastics is one of the most difficult environmental problems facing countries around the world.The annual output of 100 million tons of polyethylene is the largest plastic product, and is one of the most inert and stable polymer materials, which is difficult to degrade.


At present, most of the waste plastics are mainly landfill and incineration, but the former occupies land resources and pollutes groundwater, while the latter increases carbon emissions and causes air pollution.As of 2015, about 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic were produced, of which about 6.3 billion tons were converted into plastic waste.Scientists have racked their brains trying to make the most of this "public enemy".


Researcher Huang Zheng said in an interview with CNBC, buried in the ground or discarded in the plastic waste in the sea there will be hundreds or thousands of years, so human need to find a solution to the plastic garbage.He and his colleagues believe that turning plastic into fuel is a clever trick to reuse.


In the new study, researchers using cross metathesis alkane catalytic strategies, using cheap low carbon alkane as reagent and solvent reorganization with polyethylene reaction, effectively reduce the molecular weight and length of carbon chain of polyethylene.Low carb is a by-product of petroleum refining, which can not be used as fuel or natural gas, and is very limited in value. This application also improves its utilization.


According to Huang Zheng introduction, in this system, the excess of low carbon alkane is like "scissors", restructuring and polyethylene reaction for many times, until the molecular weight of thousands, even millions of polyethylene degradation for alkanes can be used as clean diesel.


Degradation of polyethylene currently USES high temperature pyrolysis method, but this method often require more than 400 degrees Celsius temperature, and generate a very complicated product, including gas, oil, wax, coke, etc., use of low value.New method and reaction temperature between 150 and 200 degrees Celsius, regardless of the structure of polyethylene waste plastics, and products are mainly alkane, the main is the C9 to C22 paraffin can be used as diesel, and can be used as an additive used in polyolefin processing in the field of polyethylene wax.New technology can degrade all kinds of polyethylene, including high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, etc., and the catalyst can be compatible with commercial grade polyethylene in various additives.In real life, this technique can be used to degrade various polyethylene waste plastics, including waste plastic bottles, plastic film, and waste plastic bags.


Although the technology now stops at polyethylene degradation, Mr Wong says he hopes to find a way to degrade polypropylene, polystyrene or other plastic materials in the future.

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