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Millions of tons of plastic waste could be turned into clean fuels, other products-Chemical conversion process could transform polyolefin waste

A new chemical conversion process could transform the world’s polyolefin waste, a form of plastic, into useful products, such as clean fuels and other items. The conversion process incorporates selective extraction and hydrothermal liquefaction. Once the plastic is converted into naphtha, it can be used as a feedstock for other chemicals or further separated into specialty solvents or other products.

The United Nations estimates that more than 8 million tons of plastics flow into the oceans each year. A new chemical conversion process could transform the world’s polyolefin waste, a form of plastic, into useful products, such as clean fuels and other items.

“Our strategy is to create a driving force for recycling by converting polyolefin waste into a wide range of valuable products, including polymers, naphtha (a mixture of hydrocarbons), or clean fuels,” said Linda Wang, the Maxine Spencer Nichols Professor in the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University and leader of the research team developing this technology. “Our conversion technology has the potential to boost the profits of the recycling industry and shrink the world’s plastic waste stock.”

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