Plastic

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Ethernos 1997, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. Ethernos 1997 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    Is there a better way to decompose plastic material on a global scale?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,308
    Better than what?
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Ethernos 1997 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    The new bacteria used to decompose plastic.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,243
    Better how?
     
  8. Ethernos 1997 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    If science were advance enough. I was thinking of turning them into water.is it possible?
     
  9. Ethernos 1997 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    If science were advance enough. I was thinking of turning them into water.is it possible?
     
  10. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,416
    most likely
    No
     
    Ethernos 1997 likes this.
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,243
    Here's the challenge:
    There are many types of plastic, but plastic is an organic molecule. That means it's almost entirely made of oxygens, hydrogens and carbons.

    Whatever means you use to make water out of it, it will use up some of the oxygen and all the hydrogen (since that's what water is made of).
    What that leaves behind is some oxygen and all the carbon.

    Most processes for chemical alteration involve heating them. That's how you get chemicals to change form.
    What happens when you heat oxygen and carbon together?
    You get carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide - both strong greenhouse gases. Very bad. Worse, in fact, than what you started with.

    So the challenge is to break down the plastic without creating even more harmful byproducts in the process.

    And if you solve that - cheaply - you will get a Nobel prize.
     
    Ethernos 1997 likes this.
  12. Ethernos 1997 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    Can we freeze it and vibrate?
     
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,584
    Why not turn used plastic into . . . new plastic? Seems much, much easier.
     
    Ethernos 1997 and DaveC426913 like this.
  14. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,243
    Well, there's another challenge.

    If we have it all in a bucket in our facilities, half the battle is over - we can do whatever we want to it in a controlled environment.

    But it's distributed all over the world, land and sea. Collecting it would cost more than processing it.

    So. if you're going to deal with existing plastic pollution (as opposed to future changes to the industry) you need a solution that can be implemented "in the wild".
     
  15. Ethernos 1997 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    But the process takes still generates micro plastic which over time will have bad affects on our body.
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,243
    The micro plastic is a consequence of degradation, usually due to exposure to sun/weather. By re-processing it, we stop that process. New products from recycled plastic are much less prone to degradation.

    Until we find a replacement for plastics (such as bamboo), plastics will always be needed and be around.

    Any plastic that's recycled is plastic that is not going into to the land or the seas or our bodies.
     
    Ethernos 1997 likes this.
  17. Ethernos 1997 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    S
    sry for the silly reply.
    What if we disintegrate plastic in a closed chamber?then separate the particle using electromagnetic fields.
     
  18. Ethernos 1997 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,243
    1] That requires collection (dollars).
    2] That requires energy (dollars) (which means pollution by your electricity production).
    3] That (may) create combustion byproducts.
    4] You're still left with the end product: C, O, and H. If you don't do anything, they will recombine back into organic products, such as CO2 and CO and sludge.
     
    Ethernos 1997 likes this.
  20. Ethernos 1997 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    Money is not a problem once the technology develops it will become cheaper. We can use renewable sources of energy.by electrolysis we can separate hydrogen and oxygen in a different chamber and create water. Carbon can b use for graphene.
     
  21. Ethernos 1997 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    154
    Graphene Bags
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,243
    That doesn't happen by magic.
    It happens because we find ways of processing distributed pollution without the zillions of hours of manual labour collecting it, hauling it to facilities, and processing it one trainload at a time.

    For example, the reason engineered bacteria is an interesting option is that (in theory) we can simply release it into the environment - or at least open-but-controlled areas - and let it do its own job of finding the plastic, reproducing itself and breaking it down. It uses sunlight and available materials so that we don't have to babysit every tonne of plastic that needs processing.

    Yes, turning it into graphene is a form of recycling. And it might work if you can make it profitable. But graphene production a very expensive process and doesn't scale well (right now, they're doing it on the micro-gram scale). You'll have to create a whole industry from scratch of graphene products - which will incidentally take R&D resources away from your primary task of collecting plastic pollution.

    I believe that the logistics of a solution - the human-power cost, energy cost, delivery cost, profit/loss etc. are as big a part - if not bigger - than the simple technology solution.

    Technology helps solve the logistics problems - it is not the solution itself.


    But don't let me discourage you. You're thinking creatively, and it is your generation that will solve this problem. My generation is too old to do much more than help by financing your generation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
    Ethernos 1997 likes this.
  23. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,416
    Here is a picture of plastic pollution on the rio negro in brazil.
    Perhaps, such places would be good gathering points for recycling?
    ...............................
    Background:
    Pree Columbus, and pree climate shift of 1150-1300---(which degraded civilizations of north, central, and south america)
    This river was home to a thriving community which may have had a population density of up to 10 times that of today. There were many large villages connected by wide raised farmlands (or boulevards) whose soil had been bolstered by adding biochar and broken pottery---this construction stopped around 1300, but the soil(called terra negra) that they created and left behind is still very fertile 700 years later. WOW Great work guys whoever you were-----we could use more like you today!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
    Ethernos 1997 likes this.

Share This Page