Recyclable Plastic

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Recently, scientists from Boise State University in the US have just developed a new kind of plastic that, unlike existing plastics, isn't made from crude oil and its derivatives.

About Recyclable Plastic:

  • The new recyclable plastic is based on Poly(ethyl cyanoacrylate) or PECA, which is prepared from the monomer used to make Super Glue.
  • It is formed through a process of polymerization where single, repeating monomer units are strung together in a chemical reaction to make one long chain.
  • It has comparable properties to existing plastics and is stable in hot, humid environments.
  • The long polymer chains of the PECA plastic can be thermally 'cracked' at temperatures of 210 °C and the resulting monomers distilled into a clean product to use again.

What is Ethyl cyanoacrylate?

  • Ethyl cyanoacrylate is a highly reactive monomer that has been used nearly exclusively to make Super Glue and related fast-setting adhesives
  • It is produced on the ton scale from methanol, chloroacetic acid, and sodium cyanide, which themselves are sourced from hydrogen, nitrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, chlorine, and sodium hydroxide. 

What is polymerization?

  • It is a process in which relatively small molecules called monomers combine chemically to produce a very large chainlike or network molecule, called a polymer.
  • The monomer molecules may be all alike, or they may represent two, three, or more different compounds.


Q1) What is Methanol?

Methanol (CH3OH) is water-soluble and readily biodegradable, comprising four parts hydrogen, one part oxygen, and one part carbon, and is the simplest member of a group of organic chemicals called alcohols.

Source: Scientists Created a New Recyclable Plastic Not Made From Crude Oil