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Study focuses on optimizing primising Pyrolysis tech for recycling

Washington, Jul 24 (Prensa Latina) The University of Pittsburgh proposed a new research focusing on optimizing a promising technology called pyrolysis which can chemically recycle waste plastics into more valuable chemicals.

Unlike glass, which is infinitely recyclable, plastic recycling is challenging and expensive because of the material´s complex molecular structure designed for specific needs.

Globally, an estimated 380 million metric tons of plastic is produced every year.

However, only about 9% of all plastic waste is recycled, about 12% is incinerated, and the rest is discarded in landfills and the natural environment.

New research from the lab of Giannis Mpoumpakis, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, focuses on optimizing a promising technology called pyrolysis, which can chemically recycle waste plastics into more valuable chemicals.

“Pyrolysis is relatively low in cost and can generate high-value products, so it presents an appealing, practical solution,” said Mpourmpakis.

“It has already been developed on a commercial scale.The main challenge now is finding optimal operating conditions, given the starting and final chemical products, without needing to rely heavily on trial-and-error experimentation.”

“The production of plastics is expected to keep increasing, so it’s essential that we find and perfect ways to recycle and reuse plastics without harming the environment,” said Mpourmpakis.

“This work, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation, contributes to the development of sustainable waste management strategies and the reduction of plastic pollution, offering potential benefits for both the environment and society.”