Turning plastic garbage into valuable lube oil

Read the full story at Chemical & Engineering News.

Bottles, bags, and other types of plastic garbage are accumulating rapidly in landfills, oceans, and the atmosphere. Meanwhile, the world’s dependence on plastic packaging is increasing. Converting plastic waste to useful products could help mitigate the problem. Until now, however, little progress has been made converting one of the most widely manufactured polymers—polypropylene.

Chemists may have just come up with a solution, according to research presented on Wednesday at ACS Fall 2021, a meeting of the American Chemical Society. Speaking at a session in the Division of Catalysis Science and Technology, Pavel A. Kots reported that in the presence of a ruthenium catalyst, polypropylene can be converted in high yield to valuable lubricant oils for automobile engines.

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