The world of plastics is changing fast. With constant concerns about the toll the material is taking on ocean life, producers are working to find an eco friendly solution that will meet the needs plastics serve today without producing the ecological consequences. Which technologies will move forward in this race to change the way plastic is produced? It’s tough to tell, but there are a few good options out there, and one is from scientists at Stanford.
CO2 + Plant Materials = Plastic?
Today’s plastics are generally made from PET. Nearly 50 million tons of the material is produced each year for a number of different products. The Stanford study, though, produced an alternative to PET made from ethylene glycol and 2-5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), both of which can be sourced from biomass. The problem, though, is that it’s tough to manufacture on a large scale at a low enough cost. Stanford’s work focused on making FDCA from agricultural waste and it would mean fewer greenhouse gas emissions because the required CO2 could come from existing power plant emissions. The resulting products could be converted back to CO2 through incineration, and that would eventually be used by plants across the world.
Until Then . . .
While there’s still quite a bit of work to do on this plastics technology, today plastic plants can enjoy at least some level of energy efficiency thanks to Komax equipment. Our static mixers and steam heaters are some of the most efficient in the industry, and that means serious energy savings for all of our customers.