Breakthrough polymer could lead to ‘infinitely’ recyclable plastics

April 27, 2018 by  
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Even though we’re aware of the environmentally damaging effects of plastic , many people still use the material because it’s long-lasting, convenient, and inexpensive – but plastic can only be recycled a few times. Four Colorado State University chemists just made a breakthrough that could allow for a plastic-like material that’s completely recyclable . They discovered a new polymer that could be infinitely recycled without intensive procedures in a laboratory or using toxic chemicals. The infinitely recyclable polymer is strong, heat-resistant, durable, and lightweight. Its discovery marks a major step towards materials that are sustainable and waste-free, according to Colorado State University — and could compete with polluting plastic in the future. Related: Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that chomps plastic for lunch Polymers are characterized by chains of chemically bonded molecules called monomers. The university said in this new research, which builds on a chemically recyclable polymer demonstrated by the laboratory of chemistry professor Eugene Chen in 2015, a monomer can be polymerized in environmentally friendly conditions: “solvent-free, at room temperature, with just a few minutes of reaction time and only a trace amount of catalyst.” The material created in this process possesses mechanical properties “that perform very much like a plastic.” The polymer can be recycled to its original state in what the university described as mild laboratory conditions, with a catalyst. With this breakthrough, published this week in the journal Science , the scientists envision a future with green plastics that can be “simply placed in a reactor and, in chemical parlance, de-polymerized to recover their value — not possible for today’s petroleum plastics.” This would bring the material back to its chemical starting point, so it could be utilized again and again and again. Chen said in the statement, “The polymers can be chemically recycled and reused, in principle, infinitely.” What’s next for the team? Chen emphasized this polymer technology has solely been demonstrated at the academic laboratory scale, and more research is necessary to polish the patent-pending processes of monomer and polymer production. The chemists do have a seed grant from CSU Ventures , and Chen said, “It would be our dream to see this chemically recyclable polymer technology materialize in the marketplace.” + Colorado State University + Science Images via Colorado State University and Depositphotos

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Breakthrough polymer could lead to ‘infinitely’ recyclable plastics

Not All Recycling Apps Created Equal

May 11, 2016 by  
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We’ve all heard the tongue-in-cheek ‘there’s an app for that.’  Spend a few minutes online (better yet on your phone) and you’ll likely be convinced yourself if skeptical.  Whether for connection, amusement, education,…

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Not All Recycling Apps Created Equal

Never do laundry again: researchers create self-cleaning textiles!

March 27, 2016 by  
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Could laundry soon be a chore of the past? Scientists at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia think so. They’ve created a cheap and efficient method for growing tiny metal nanostructures directly on fabric, which expel dust and stains after just a few minutes of exposure to sunlight. Best of all, these nanomaterials are invisible to the naked eye, so they won’t change the look of your favorite fashions. Click the link below to learn more about how this remarkable new technology works. READ MORE > Photo by Caspar Rubin/Unsplash  

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Never do laundry again: researchers create self-cleaning textiles!

Egyptian researchers developed a cost-effective method for cleaning saltwater in just minutes

September 9, 2015 by  
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Finding ways to create clean drinking water where there is none is a field of constant innovation. Desalination, the process of filtering seawater to make it fit for human use, is perhaps the most common and researchers around the globe are on a quest to bring cost-effective and portable desalination technology to rural areas where it is desperately needed. So it’s exciting news that  researchers at Alexandria University in Egypt have developed a promising new method that can turn salt water into fresh water in just a few minutes. Read the rest of Egyptian researchers developed a cost-effective method for cleaning saltwater in just minutes

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Egyptian researchers developed a cost-effective method for cleaning saltwater in just minutes

6 Eco-Friendly Ways To Wrap Your Holiday Gifts

December 22, 2013 by  
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Finished up with your holiday shopping? (If not, check out our last-minute gift guide !) Now, the only thing that’s left to do is wrap those thoughtful gifts up tight so that they’ll be a surprise on the big morning. Traditional wrapping paper is pretty wasteful when you think about it: used for a few minutes before being shredded and thrown away. Not to mention that most varieties contain harmful inks and dyes that make them difficult to recycle. Save money and be kind to the planet by making your own holiday wrapping paper with easy-to recycle materials that are probably lying around your house! Use our handy tutorial to get started. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: diy gift wrap , DIY holiday gift wrap , eco-friendly gift wrap , green gift wrap for the holidays , holiday gift wrap , holiday gift wrap alternatives        

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6 Eco-Friendly Ways To Wrap Your Holiday Gifts

Portable supercapacitor-powered speakers charge in 5 minutes, good for 500,000 charges

November 22, 2013 by  
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These high quality portable speakers charge in just a few minutes minutes, play for 6 hours on a single charge, and are handcrafted from bamboo and open-source hardware. Welcome to the future.

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Portable supercapacitor-powered speakers charge in 5 minutes, good for 500,000 charges

5 green causes for holiday gift donations

November 22, 2013 by  
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Gifts that don’t involve “stuff” are all the rage these days. What could be a better present than a greener, fairer future?

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5 green causes for holiday gift donations

Amazing glass that tints on demand is now solar powered

November 21, 2013 by  
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This glass makes your window treatments obsolete.

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Amazing glass that tints on demand is now solar powered

New LEED standards mean healthier, greener buildings on the way

November 21, 2013 by  
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LEED v4 is here.

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New LEED standards mean healthier, greener buildings on the way

DIY: Learn How To Make Waldorf-Style Whole Wheat Bread at Home (VIDEO)

June 24, 2013 by  
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Pint-sized patissier Petey Rojas is back again with a brand new recipe to share! This time, our favorite four-year-old teaches us how to bake delicious Waldorf -style whole wheat bread using just a few simple ingredients (flour, salt, water, yeast). This yummy bread takes only a few minutes to prep, it doesn’t require a bread maker, and it’s a fun, hands-on recipe that’s sure to delight both kids and adults alike. Check out Petey’s adorable DIY video above, and be sure to give the recipe a try. We’ve also got the full, printable instructions after the jump! READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Inhabitots shows you how to make easy , vegan , Waldorf style bread rolls at home with your children , with pint-sized preschool baker Petey Rojas.        

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DIY: Learn How To Make Waldorf-Style Whole Wheat Bread at Home (VIDEO)

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