How to Turn a Corncob into Plastic Bottles

All you need is a Cob and CO2 to make Plastic Bottles. This article is an update to a previous article: “Plastic Bottles from Carbon Dioxide and a Furfural Derivative” Most of the 270 billion plastic bottles used in the U.S. each year are derived from petroleum. And that manufacturing contributes to a global greenhouse […]

30.07.2016 | News

(Image: DalinYebo)

PET Water Bottles – Soon to be made from Corncobs?

All you need is a Cob and CO2 to make Plastic Bottles.

This article is an update to a previous article: “Plastic Bottles from Carbon Dioxide and a Furfural Derivative”

Most of the 270 billion plastic bottles used in the U.S. each year are derived from petroleum. And that manufacturing contributes to a global greenhouse gas hit of more than 200 million tons of carbon dioxide each year — the same amount about 150 coal power plants generate annually. Some plastics companies are attempting to cut that footprint by substituting corn-based sugar for petroleum. But planting, fertilizing and harvesting corn generates significant carbon emissions, too, says researcher Matt Kanan (Standford University), where they developed a process that turns furfural into a precursor to make plastic bottles:

1. Convert the corncobs into furfural

2. Make furoic acid (a common food additive) from the furfural.

3. Mix hot furoic acid with CO2 to make 2-5-Furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA).

4. FCDA is a precursor for making polyethylene furandicarboxylate (PEF), which is an attractive replacement for PET.

NB: Worldwide, about 50 million tons of PET are produced each year for items such as fabrics, electronics, recyclable beverage containers and personal-care products.

DalinYebo’s Comment: Corncobs can be removed from the fields without any negative impact on soil health. Actually, they take a few years to decompose and initially take nitrogen from the soil during the decomposition process!

Reference:

discoverymaganzine.com

news.stanford.edu

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