This New Plastic Breaks Down In Just 3 Hours


Recent works by a talented team of researchers has managed to come up with a certain type of plastic that is unique in its own way. This particular plastic is actually capable of completely breaking down right about after three hours to have been exposed to UV light rays. The plastic can be recycled completely and hence it is perfectly ecofriendly. Plastic is the kind of material that is notorious for its rigid and resilient behavior. fungus that breaks down plastic and toxics contained in this particular matter are very difficult to melt down or burn. If the material is left on its own in devices it can actually hang around in them for a shocking hundreds of years. Scientists have however now managed to develop a certain new kind of plastic that will break down remarkably faster compared to the original when exposed to UV light. Full degradation of this new type takes place in just about three hours.

breaks down plastic

These plastics were created by a team of researchers belonging to North Dakota State University in the United States. The team created a unique kind of solution made from fructose. Fructose happens to be a kind of sugar element found in fruits. Along with this element different molecules that have the ability to absorb light are also added in the solution. These are known as photo-triggers. The solution was then heated to form chains that are long and repeating. These chains formed a solid plastic of pale brown color once it was cooled.

The ultraviolet light which the plastic was exposed too was of three hundred and fifty nano-meters in wavelength. The natural wavelength of lights given off by the sun ranges between 290 nano-meters to 3200 nanometers. The molecules present in the plastic that have the ability to absorb light break off from these chains once exposed to this UV light and the degradation of that plastic is started. The writer from Science by the name Xiao Zhi Lim stated that this was this experiment of plastic dissolving in to a clear solution was but in fact a proof to the entire concept that this plastic had the ability to be completely degraded. The experiment clearly stated that reduction of plastic to its soluble molecules was possible after exposure to UV light for a time period of three hours.

The building blocks received after degradation can be completely recovered. These can then be recycled fully to form new plastic of the same kind. The results of the experiments conducted were published in “Angewandte Chemie”. The only drawback is that a plastic that actually begins the recycling process on its own once it’s exposed to sunlight cannot be used for practical uses extensively. However products like electronics can actually utilize the new kind of plastic to reduce the overall impact of plastic on the surrounding environment. There is still room for a lot of new research on how to make this plastic work in comparison to other plastics.