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Vegetable and Animal Oils can be Converted to an Ingredient for Making Plastics

by Savitha C Muppala on  August 9, 2013 at 8:03 PM Environmental Health   - G J E 4
Scientists have developed a new method through which vegetable and animal fats and oils - ranging from lard to waste cooking oil - can be converted to a key ingredient for making plastics that currently comes from petroleum, according to scientists.
 Vegetable and Animal Oils can be Converted to an Ingredient for Making Plastics
Vegetable and Animal Oils can be Converted to an Ingredient for Making Plastics
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Douglas Neckers and Maria Muro-Small explained that many of the plastics found in hundreds of everyday products begin with a group of chemical raw materials termed olefins that come from petroleum, which includes ethylene, propylene and butadiene - the building blocks for familiar plastics like polyethylene, polyester, polyvinyl chloride and polystyrene.

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However, the scientists sought a more sustainable alternative source of olefins and in their report described use of "UV-C" light-used in sanitizing wands to kill bacteria and viruses around the house-to change lard, tallow, olive oil, canola oil and waste canola cooking oil into olefins.

Neckers and Muro-Small said that this is the first report on use of this photochemical process to make olefins.

The findings have been published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering

Source: ANI
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