A recent article in Plastics Recycling Update discusses new technologies in plastics recycling with iCOUP's Deputy Director and Argonne National Lab scientist Max Delferro. A key initiative from Delferro’s team has been the development of a catalysis process to convert polyethylene to products that have clear market value, such as waxes, aromatics and oils. That research involved collaboration with scientists at several universities as well as individuals at other U.S. national laboratories, with a goal of finding solutions for the global plastics pollution problem.
“Every year, we produce 380 million tons of plastics worldwide, and probably 75% of that goes to the landfill,” said Delferro in the article. “That comes to roughly 7% of the crude oil that we take from the ground gets lost. The Department of Energy says we have to do something better.”