Plastics are one of the main enemies of the environment, and scientists seek to recycle and reuse plastic waste in a variety of ways. Now a team of researchers has developed a process that turns plastic waste into a valuable material, glue.
Unlike cartons, glass and scrap metal, which are very popular among recycling companies, plastics are not very popular among them, but for a specific reason: recycling and reusing plastic is very difficult and the new product is less valuable than the product. Has a primary. Polyethylene is the most common plastic, which is produced 100 million tons annually worldwide.
This amount of production, as well as its devastating effects on the environment, has prompted researchers to focus on them, and now a team of researchers at Berkeley University has developed a process that can make polyethylene ready for reuse while retaining many of its properties. By adding the “hydroxyl” group to one of these polymers, the team produced an adhesive that adheres to metals. Molecular hydroxyl consists of an oxygen and hydrogen atom.
To achieve this goal, the researchers used a catalytic process called “rotated potassium fluorinated porphyrin” that can work at high temperatures to melt plastic when immersed in a non-polar solvent. By adding a little alcohol to this compound, a glue is produced with 20 times more adhesion than ordinary glues.
While this process is not economical, the possibility of converting polyethylene to adhesive can lead to their use in various sectors such as implants or as insulation for metal wires. In addition, it is possible to use this adhesive to make more durable products made of plastic and metal.
Although this recycling method is not very economical, but with the increase of its applications, some companies may decide to use it and it will have an impact on the increasing production of plastics and plastic products. The researchers’ new research is published in the journal Chem.