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The Future of Recycling is Here: Scientists Transform Plastic Waste into Fuel

Now if only people would stop using and wasting so much plastic…

Its a disheartening fact that our oceans are chock-filled with garbage. Plastic wastes are a particularly great headache. This plastic refuse takes an estimated 450 years to disintegrate. It is also slowly killing off marine animals.

One particular gigantic eyesore is the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a swirling island of mostly plastic waste the size of a continent which stretches from Japan all the way to Hawaii. It is the world’s biggest vortex of trash, and it is not the only one.

“The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”

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Source: Traveloscopy

Now imagine animals ingesting bits and pieces of this “continent” all the way up the food chain…

…and on to people’s plates.

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Source: Inhabitat

In a new surge of hope, a group of scientists from China and the U.S. have teamed up together and figured out how to transform plastic waste into fuel.

Plastic’s basic components are made up of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen atoms, the same atoms fuel is made of. Rearranging these atom chains can convert plastic refuse into a type of usable fossil fuel. The scientists based their study on polyethylene (PE), the most common type of plastic produced around the world.

They used an iridium-rich compound to remove the hydrogen atoms from a plastic bag, a bottle, and food packaging, leaving the remaining carbon atoms to form double bands with each other. These double bands of carbon, known as polymers, were found to be more reactive to certain chemicals.

Polyethylene polymers

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Source: Elmhurst.edu

The scientists then applied a second catalyst made up of aluminum, oxygen and rhenium to smash the polymers apart into monomers. This catalyst effectively liberated the hydrogen atoms. They then used the freed hydrogen atoms to fuse back into the fragmented monomers, forming a fuel.

The result? Altering the amount of hydrogen and carbon atoms in a hydrocarbon polymer from the PE transformed it into a different chemical altogether. They accomplished this without using a lot of heat, thereby conserving energy and making the process more efficient and environmentally friendly.

The scientists also experimented with altering the speed of reaction and degree of catalytic fragmentation to produce either a liquid or wax type of fuel. Both of which were found to be clean and low-pollution compared to other fossil fuels in use today.

This breakthrough, while still in its early phase, should be able to help rid the world of plastic waste.

With an added bonus of converting the refuse into usable fuel.

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Although in the future, it still would be helpful to reduce our overall carbon footprint by using and wasting less plastic.

Reuse, reduce, recycle.

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Facebook Live Feed Showed Disturbing Shooting Incident in Minnesota

A live streaming on Facebook caught Minnesota cop shot dead a car driver.

A live Facebook feed is now surfacing online and revealing a disturbing shooting incident in Minnesota between a cop and a car driver on Wednesday.

The 10-minute clip was shared by a Facebook user, named Lavish Reynolds, and showed a man slumped in his seat while his white shirt was drenched with blood.

The victim is identified by his family as Philando Castile, 32, and the woman who is recording the scene is his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds. ...

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Man Uses Cell Phone Jammer To Stop Drivers From Using Their Phones, Gets $48k Fines

If you know anyone using or selling these jamming devices, better tell them to stop. The consequences can be extremely costly.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently fined Jason R. Humphreys for the amount of $48,000 after using a cell phone signal jammer during his daily work commutes in Florida. The illegal device was used to interrupt other drivers from using their mobile devices on the road.

Florida officials has always clarified that using jammers is now allowed by the law because it is considered a public safety threat. For instance, emergency teams will be unable to respond to calls.

A report by FCC tells us that Humphreys used the device on Interstate 4 between Seffner and Tampa. It has also been mentioned that he has been using the jammers for about 16 to 24 months before he was first apprehended in 2014. ...

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American Medical Association Issues Warning About the Dangers of LED Street Lights

Progress and technology come with a price.

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Modern cities have started to switch to LED lighting as a brighter and more efficient way to light up city streets. LED lights are cheaper and brighter than the older orange colored street lights of decades past.

However, despite the cost-efficient way technology is brightening up city streets, the American Medical Association has issued a new warning about LED lighting.

Apparently, LED lighting comes with consequences.

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