NUS researchers turn plastic bottle waste into ultralight supermaterial with wide-ranging applications

Read the full story from the National University of Singapore.

Researchers from the the National University of Singapore (NUS) have made a significant contribution towards resolving the global issue of plastic waste, by creating a way to convert plastic bottle waste into aerogels for many useful applications.

Plastic bottles are commonly made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is the most recycled plastic in the world. The PET aerogels developed by the NUS-led research team using plastic bottle waste – a world’s first – are soft, flexible, durable, extremely light and easy to handle. They also demonstrate superior thermal insulation and strong absorption capacity. These properties make them attractive for a wide range of applications, such as for heat and sound insulation in buildings, oil spill cleaning, and also as a lightweight lining for firefighter coats and carbon dioxide absorption masks that could be used during fire rescue operations and fire escape.

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