Washington: A new research has indicated that instead of dumping plastics, they could be recycled to make useful products such as rechargeable cell phone or laptop batteries and other useful products like tones and lubricants.
Vilas Pol of Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill, has found a way to turn plastic into tiny spheres of pure carbon just a few microns across and then use them in tires, batteries and lubricants.
In tyres for instance, it could dissipate the heat generated from friction against the road, protecting the rubber from melting.
Pol’s method involves heating plastic till it turns into gas inside a sealed chamber. Instead of air, inert gas is fed into the chamber, which releases the hydrogen in the plastic.
This hydrogen gas can be used as hydrogen fuel.
The carbon, meanwhile, which forms spheres or egg-shapes depending on the type of waste plastic used, could be useful for certain applications, like filtration, where packing tightly together is vital.
"Microspheres are expensive to make using the current technology," Discovery News quoted Nishkamraj Deshpande of the United Space Alliance, a NASA contractor, as saying.
"With this process, we don`t have to invest new petroleum gases to make carbon spheres or nanotubes," Pol said.
Carbon microspheres are also useful in lubricants, toner, paint and filters.
"It`s cost effective. It is reproducible," he added.