Indian scientists turn plastic bags into car fuel

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    Indian scientists turn plastic bags into car fuel
    PTI [ Updated 29 Jan 2014, 12:51:18 ]

    New Delhi: In a breakthrough, Indian researchers have developed an innovative method to re-use discarded plastic bags by transforming them into fuel to power car engines.

    Researchers developed a relatively low-temperature process to convert certain kinds of plastic waste into liquid fuel as a way to re-use plastic bags and other products.

    Among the plastic waste is the common polymer, low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which is used to make many types of container, medical and laboratory equipment, computer components and, of course, plastic bags.

    Recycling initiatives are in place in many parts of the world, but much of the polyethylene waste ends up in landfill, dispersed in the environment or in the sea.

    Chemist Achyut Kumar Panda of Centurion University of Technology and Management Odisha is working with chemical engineer Raghubansh Kumar Singh of the National Institute of Technology, Odisha, to develop a commercially viable technology for efficiently rendering LDPE into a liquid fuel.

    Given that most plastics are made from petrochemicals, this solution to plastic recycling brings the life-cycle full circle allowing a second use as an oil substitute.

    The process reported in the International Journal of Environment and Waste Management, could, if implemented on a large enough scale, reduce pressures on landfill as well as ameliorating the effects of dwindling oil supplies in a world with increasing demands on petrochemicals for fuel.

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