Plastic waste could be used for fueling cars

plastic waste Representative image | Shutterstock

Our usage of plastic is costing the oceans a high price; it is killing thousands of marine life each year. However, this could very well be a thing of the past as researchers at Swansea University in UK have found a way to turn discarded plastic into hydrogen fuel that can be used for running cars.

Light-absorbing material is added to the plastic before it is placed in an alkaline solution and then exposed to sunlight, which creates hydrogen, said the scientists. The process could be cheaper than recycling. In Britian alone, 13 billion plastic bottles are used per year, but only half of it is recycled and the remaining ends up in land fills.

Most plastic bottles are made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) which can be recycled but But even if you do recycle it, it needs to be very pure so it can be only PET, nothing else mixed in with it. And washing it can bevery expensive. Even then, the plastic you get is not always as nice as virgin material.

The process of adding a photocatalyst and turning it into hydrogen gas works on all kinds of plastic waste. However, according to the university, rolling out the project on an industrial level might still be years away. But the good news is, that remains of plastic from this process can be used to make new plastic.