Turning Plastic Pollution into Energy
Today 31% of plastic waste in the EU ends up in landfill, having a devastating effect on our ecosystems and oceans.
Even with ambitious recycling targets in place – the UK aims to recycle 50% of all household waste by 2020 – we’re still a long way from resolving the issue.
But Dr Anh Phan, a lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Newcastle University’s School of Engineering, may have a solution.
She is currently leading a pioneering research project to convert waste plastic into green energy and useful chemicals and materials through a process known as cold plasma pyrolysis.
Anh first started researching energy recovery from the waste left behind after recycling in 2004 during her PhD, when she discovered that plastic made up about 13% of municipal waste streams.
After her appointment at Newcastle University in September 2013, she was determined to continue her investigation.
“Plastics are actually valuable waste materials as they contain carbon and hydrogen and have a similar energy content to fuels such as diesel,” she explains.
However, rather than focusing solely on the potential to generate fuel from this waste plastic, Anh decided to go one step further and try to recover other higher-value materials.
Nara Loca Abadi is a recycled plastic specialist that concerned about the earth and environment by promoting the use of recycled PET flakes, recycled PET chips, recycled PP & HDPE granules to various plastic and polyester manufacturers.