JUN 18, 2019 6:00 AM PDT

Plastics of Future Could Be Fully and Indefinitely Recyclable

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Not all plastic wastes are recyclable. And the current recycling system isn't efficient because a portion of the material end up lost during the process. Moreover, those reused materials are often not as durable or strong as the freshly made.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE), a group of material researchers has come up with a new type of plastics called poly(diketoenamine), or PDKs. This innovative polymer is easily moldable, sturdy, and flexible. But unlike conventional plastics, PDKs can be reused repeatedly, without losing performance or quality.  

With its monomers connected with each other in reversible bonds, PDKs can be easily broken down in a strong acid bath. Any compounded additives can be separated and removed as well. This way all original molecules can be recovered and reassembled into a different shape, texture, and color again and again.

The researchers hope that their invention can help divert plastics from landfills and the oceans, and incentivize the recovery and reuse of plastics once their PDKs becomes mainstream.

Their work was published in the journal Nature Chemistry.

Source: Seeker via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
You May Also Like
FEB 01, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Presence of plasma inhibits ultra-relativistic energies in solar storms
FEB 01, 2021
Presence of plasma inhibits ultra-relativistic energies in solar storms
A study published in the journal Science Advances reports new measurements from NASA's Van Allen Probes spacecraft. ...
MAR 18, 2021
Microbiology
How to Avoid Greenwashing Your Lab
MAR 18, 2021
How to Avoid Greenwashing Your Lab
Greenwashing is a term used to describe an intentionally-misleading or false claim about the environmental benefits of a ...
APR 29, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Can We Diagnose Disease Based on How "Sticky" Cells Are?
APR 29, 2021
Can We Diagnose Disease Based on How "Sticky" Cells Are?
How “sticky” cells are, or their viscosity, holds a wealth of information about their health and functionali ...
JUN 08, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Astrophysicists Discover Origins of First Structures in Milky Way
JUN 08, 2021
Astrophysicists Discover Origins of First Structures in Milky Way
A team of scientists led by the Centre for Astrobiology have discovered that the bulges we see in disc galaxies formed i ...
JUN 06, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Designing a glue as strong as mussels
JUN 06, 2021
Designing a glue as strong as mussels
A recent study published in the journal Advanced Science describes a novel type of glue inspired by the strong hold ...
JUN 10, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Covalent organic frameworks provide the backbone for new aerogels
JUN 10, 2021
Covalent organic frameworks provide the backbone for new aerogels
New aerogels developed at Rice University are highly durable and capable of producing light. The aerogels are composed o ...
Loading Comments...