wrap made for use as fuel - food packaging film
Scientists around the world are trying to make car fuel from waste, but Richard Gross has taken an unusual approach: Making "fuel-
"Potential plastics" designed for conversion ".
It can be used for packaging or other purposes like normal plastic, but when it is wasted it can easily be converted into alternative diesel.
The process was not good enough to be commercialized, but the Pentagon gave $2.
34 million for more research.
This technology can reduce the amount of material that the Army delivers to soldiers at remote bases, as plastics will play a double role, first as packaging and then as fuel.
According to DARPA, the Defense Senior Project research agency, this will also reduce the problem of garbage disposal.
Gross is a professor of chemistry at the Brooklyn Institute of Technology in New York. Y.
The conversion of vegetable oil already used in the manufacture of biodiesel into "bio-plastic" is under way ".
"Plastic can be film or rigid as is common in food packaging.
He then breaks the plastic down into fuel using a naturally occurring enzyme.
"It works under very mild conditions and the tap water is not hot," he said . ".
This enzyme, cutinase, is present in nature and is made by parasites through the shiny surface of leaves, so parasites can absorb nutrients from the inside. A gene-
DNA splicing Company 2.
0, some DNA has been extracted from the parasite and spliced into E.
A large number of E. coli that produce enzymes. The E.
E. coli is chosen because it is easier to breed than the original parasite.
The conversion starts with crushing plastic.
The office shredder is OK, Gross said.
The fragments are then immersed in water with a small amount of enzymes.
The process was completed in three to five days, with biodiesel floating on it.
In order to meet the US Environmental Protection Agency's standards for road use, biofuels must undergo additional chemical processing, but DARPA believes that the resulting fuel can be directly poured into the fuel tank of the diesel generator to generate electricity.
According to DARPA, a soldier generates on average more than 7 pounds of packaged garbage per day, and simply removing the garbage requires "personnel, fuel and critical transportation equipment ".
DARPA said: "Even if some energy is lost while reprocessing plastics, waste can provide enough fuel to make the electricity needed for military bases.
The Pentagon calls the mobile integrated sustainable energy recovery program.
On January, DARPA's spokeswoman, Walker, said that within the scope of a project sponsored by her agency, the project was "not a real technology", although still in its initial stages.
According to Gross, a gallon of soybean oil will produce the same amount of biodiesel whether it is directly converted or going through an intermediate stage like plastic.
The trick, he says, is to extract a chemical from an oil called fatty acids from soybean oil or other crop sources, change them so that one end of them has a chemical equivalent to a "hook.
They can then be connected into a long chain, a plastic building block. Add cross-
Link from chain to chain, plastic from film to rigid material.
The conversion of soybean oil into fatty acids is also done with enzymes. A gene-
This can be done by changing yeast.
Jeremy mingshir, president of DNA 2
Because this transformation requires energy, yeast is selected, which provides energy when feeding cheap food. Then E.
E. coli uses DNA borrowed from a fungus called the Antarctic rosary to convert fatty acids into polymers, a material that can heat and form useful plastic shapes.
After the cause of the plastic container is over, it can be crushed and then chemically broken down into diesel.
While biodiesel is commercially produced in the country, it is not competitive with oil and diesel without government subsidies.
But if oil prices remain high enough, or if the government is taxing carbon emissions, bio-plastics-to-
Biodiesel can become viable without subsidies.
Using plants as plastic or fuel can save carbon, as next year's crop will absorb carbon from the atmosphere.