Researchers Turn Plastic Water Bottles Into Diesel and Jet Fuel

A research group led by Washington State University scientists has found a way to turn daily plastic waste products into jet fuel.

In a new paper published in the journal Applied Energy, WSU’s Hanwu Lei and colleagues melted plastic waste at high temperature with activated carbon, a processed carbon with increased surface area, to produce jet fuel.

“Waste plastic is a huge problem worldwide,” said Lei, an associate professor in WSU’s Department of Biological System Engineering. “This is a very good, and relatively simple, way to recycle these plastics.”

How it works

In the experiment, Lei and colleagues tested low-density polyethylene and mixed a variety of waste plastic products, like water bottles, milk bottles, and plastic bags, and ground them down to around three millimeters, or about the size of a grain of rice.

The plastic granules were then placed on top of activated carbon in a tube reactor at a high temperature, ranging from 430 degree Celsius to 571 degrees Celsius. That’s 806 to 1,060 Fahrenheit. The carbon is a catalyst, or a substance that speeds up a chemical reaction without being consumed by the reaction.

“Plastic is hard to break down,” Lei said. “You have to add a catalyst to help break the chemical bonds. There is a lot of hydrogen in plastics, which is a key component in fuel.”

Dr. Hanwu Lei and his research team in the lab, working to find a use for plastic waste. Credit: University of Washington

Once the carbon catalyst has done its work, it can be separated out and re-used on the next batch of waste plastic conversion. The catalyst can also be regenerated after losing its activity.

After testing several different catalysts at different temperatures, the best result they had produced a mixture of 85 percent jet fuel and 15 percent diesel fuel.

Environmental impact

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, landfills in the U.S. received 26 million tons of plastic in 2015, the most recent year statistics are available. China has recently stopped accepting plastic recycling from the U.S. and Canada. Conservative estimates by scientists say that at least 4.8 million tons of plastic enters the ocean each year worldwide.

Not only would this new process reduce that waste, very little of what is produced is wasted.

We can recover almost 100 percent of the energy from the plastic we tested,” Lei said. “The fuel is very good quality, and the byproduct gasses produced are high quality and useful as well.”

He also said the method for this process is easily scalable. It could work at a large facility or even on farms, where farmers could turn plastic waste into diesel.

“You have to separate the resulting product to get jet fuel,” Lei said. “If you don’t separate it, then it’s all diesel fuel.”

Article by University of Washington.

Subscribe to Natural Blaze for health freedom and natural living headlines to your inbox. Follow Natural Blaze on Twitter and Facebook.

Source

A Philippines Cafe Makes Straws From Coconut Leaves As A Perfect Alternative To Plastic Straws

By Mayukh Saha

Neil Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.  Of course, he was talking about the Moon landing. But considering the present condition our society is in, it could very well apply to us. With the continuous influx of pollutants into our environment, it is high time we take teeny tiny steps ourselves to some solution. It might go a long way towards helping the environment.

And us.

According to a report in 2016, 40 kg of plastic is produced for each of the 7 billion humans every year. It’s no mystery that it will grow. And because of that hundreds and thousands of marine animals continue to fall victim to gruesome deaths.

Plastics are non-biodegradable substances which take centuries to decompose. They clog the throats of marine animals leading to them choking and dying. They also contain harmful chemicals that make the soil infertile for future cultivation.

While plastic straws are not the main contributors to plastic pollution, Americans still use around 500 million straws daily. And at least 8 billion plastic straws end up on beaches globally. Also, plastic straws do comprise 4% of the total plastic waste, which is not negligible.

And that’s why small changes tend to matter a lot.

In the Philippines, the manager of Café Editha in Surigao Del Norte, Sarah Tiu, has chosen to go down the non-plastic route. She never liked plastic anyway. At first, she tried using stainless straws and paper straws to replace plastic straws. Well – the customers weren’t fans of the alternatives. She had to find some other way.

When she went on a trip down to Corregidor Island, she found a way to transform her eco-friendly ideas into action, without causing dissatisfaction among customers. There she learned how to use natural products like cut lukay and fresh buko to make straws. Lukay is coconut fronds and leaves while buko is coconut juice.

Once she learned to make these ‘natural’ straws, her idea was to implement it in her cafe. And she did so. The customers loved it. They started sharing the news, along with pictures, on social media. These straws were biodegradable, but the best part, they did not make any sounds and were leakproof. Customer satisfaction guaranteed!

The straws are easy to make and Tiu has shared pictures of these straws to encourage others to adopt them. She makes them with her workers’ assistance before the store opens in the morning.

[embedded content]

IMAGE CREDIT: Cafe Editha


Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: [email protected]com Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

Subscribe to Natural Blaze for health freedom and natural living headlines to your inbox. Follow Natural Blaze on Twitter and Facebook.

Source

Edible Film Made from Essential Oils Can Protect Food Better Than Plastic

By Amanda Froelich

If you’re looking to reduce your carbon imprint without really changing your lifestyle, this edible film may be one of the available solutions to doing so. According to new research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a newly-developed edible film containing the essential oils clove and oregano may protect food better than conventional plastic film.

The study was led by researchers from the Department of Food Technology at the Federal University of Vicosa. The team recognized the need for a sustainable film to protect food. They also know of the oils’ antimicrobial properties and theorized that they could be embedded into food packaging. It turns out they were right.

By using low-speed mixing and ultrasonication techniques, the team was able to form coarse emulsions and nanoemulsions of both clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum) and oregano (Origanum vulgare). Afterward, they added methylcellulose, a type of edible fiber, to create the film sheets.

Then they conducted an experiment. Two preservative-free loaves of bread were baked—one was covered with the edible film and the other with conventional plastic film. After 15 days, the researchers noted that the bread covered with the edible film had marked reduction in both yeast and mold counts, likely due to the smaller-sized particles providing more enhanced protection.

All in all, it was concluded that the film made with essential oils maintained the bread’s freshness for longer than the calcium propionate and plastic version. This is an important find, as natural treatments are often considered to be inferior to conventional ones.

“Both essential oils reduced the rigidity and increased the extensibility of the methylcellulose films, effects that were even more pronounced for nanodroplets,” the researchers wrote. “Both essential oils lessened the counts of yeasts and molds in sliced bread during 15 days, and droplet size reduction provided a further improvement in antimicrobial properties.”

It is also worth noting that the edible film is much healthier than plastic film because it does not contain chemical preservatives to extend the shelf life of food. These chemicals can leach into the food they’re supposed to be protecting and have been linked to health conditions. It is for this reason experts recommend you store your to-go lunch and leftovers in ceramic, stainless steel, and glass containers.

“Leachables from plastics can include everything from leftover monomer building blocks to additives used to make plastic strong or malleable,” explains a report by Chemical & Engineering News, which is published by the American Chemical Society (ACS). “Probably the most infamous leachable from plastics is bisphenol A (BPA), which is used as a building block in polycarbonate bottles and in the epoxy-resin liners of metal cans.”

It is presently unknown if or when this product will be available in markets, but if it were available in your city right now, would you use this edible film? Comment your thoughts below and share this news!

IMAGE CREDIT: stocksnapper

This article was sourced from Truth Theory

Subscribe to Natural Blaze for health freedom and natural living headlines to your inbox. Follow Natural Blaze on Twitter and Facebook.

Source

ALDI Announces They Are Turning To 100% Sustainable Packaging

By Mayukh Saha

The end of non-biodegradable plastic seems to be very near! With big corporations and supermarkets starting to make changes in their policies, it seems that we are looking forward to a bright future for our planet. It has been a long fight and the struggle continues, but now that we have corporations on our side, we can be positive about our victory and have it much earlier than expected.

This time, the supermarket chain ALDI has claimed that it will offer 100 percent recyclable, compostable, and reusable packaging for all the products by the year 2025. The company has put out some specific goals in a press release and the company has particularly said that they would be reducing their plastic packaging within five years.

The reason that this can be termed as a major win is because ALDI, as a grocery chain, has a major influence. It has about 1,800 stores in 35 states. They have a major impact on the lives of the American public. The problem until now was with the packaging that they received, which was just thrown out.

However, the giant had wanted to go down the sustainability route for quite some time and Jason Hart, their CEO, chose to speed up the process. They are aware of the global plastic crisis and are willing to do their best to prevent contributing to it.

ALDI has been a responsible grocery chain for quite some time now. They did not provide single-use plastic bags and have also assisted in keeping plastic grocery bags out of oceans and landfills. However, they are not satisfied. Keeping in mind how plastic continues to plague the world even now, it was important for them to do something more about this issue.

Hence, they committed to bring about a reduction in plastic packaging waste as a whole so that this menace can be stopped. They are all set to develop a future that they and all of us could be proud of. A future that is suitable for the next generation.

In the press release, ALDI claims that they have recycled over 250,000 tons of materials which include plastic, metal, cardboard, and paper. And this recycling process came with more benefits too. Due to this process, ALDI was able to avoid the creation of greenhouse gas which could have been equal to about 8,094,533 gallons.

As of now, about 90 percent of products which are sold in ALDI are packaged and produced for ALDI. This gives them the ability to initiate this step that is both ambitious and important, by doing this they will be setting a benchmark for all other corporations to achieve.

However, while the company may be producing recyclable packaging, our responsibility does not end there. It is our duty to support them, create awareness, and actually recycle these plastics so that more wastes are not produced. It is only by proper teamwork that we can achieve something.

ALDI shows the courage and responsibility to do something for the world. All it asks is your help and participation in it. So, are you willing to be a team member for a better tomorrow?


Hey! Message me. I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, design and social media management. I am an avid traveler and want to go full digital nomadic by summer 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: [email protected]com Read More stories by Mayukh Saha

IMAGE CREDIT: Максим Кузубов

This article was sourced from Truth Theory

Source

MSM Finally Admits Legal Hemp is the Answer to Dependency on Big Oil

By Matt Agorist

Because government is the antithesis to freedom, industrial hemp has been banned nationwide since 1937 ostensibly due to the plant’s similarities to marijuana. Many have speculated that this move was also due to the fact that cannabis is in direct competition with the pharmaceutical industry by providing far safer alternative treatments as well as directly competing with the petrochemical industry. However, all this changed in December after President Donald Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement act of 2018, legalizing industrial hemp on a national scale.

Despite this move, law enforcement across the country continue to go after entirely legal businesses for selling this THC-free version of the cannabis plant. However, they are quickly being exposed for the tyrants that they are. Even the mainstream media—who have long suppressed and ignored the benefits of the hemp plant—are now forced to cover its benefits.

In an article out of Forbes this week, titled, “Industrial Hemp Is The Answer To Petrochemical Dependency,” the case is made for an environmentally friendly solution to the monopoly the petrochemical industry has had over fuel and plastics.

As Forbes reports, “our dependency on petrochemicals has proven hard to overcome, largely because these materials are as versatile as they are volatile. From fuel to plastics to textiles to paper to packaging to construction materials to cleaning supplies, petroleum-based products are critical to our industrial infrastructure and way of life.”

But all this is now changing. Thanks to the many states who chose to disobey hemp prohibition, the federal government was forced to legalize it nationally.

As Forbes points out:

The crop can be used to make everything from biodegradable plastic to construction materials like flooring, siding, drywall and insulation to paper to clothing to soap to biofuels made from hemp seeds and stalks. Porsche is even using hemp-based material in the body of its 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport track car to reduce the weight while maintaining rigidity and safety.

The shift from petrochemical dependency to a sustainable model of hemp production is not only going to help remove the world’s dependency on big oil, but it is an necessity if we are going to maintain a healthy planet.

Right now, one garbage truck of plastic is being dumped into the ocean every minute.

This disturbing reality is underscored by the recent discovery of another giant patch of plasticbigger than Mexico—floating in the South Pacific Sea. It was discovered by Captain Charles Moore, who found the North Pacific Garbage Patch in 1997.

One million seabirds die each year from ingesting plastic, and up to 90 percent have plastic in their guts. Microplastic (resulting from the breakdown of larger pieces by sunlight and waves) and microbeads (used in body washes and facial cleansers) are the ocean’s smog. They absorb toxins in the water and enter the food chain, from the smallest plankton to the largest whales, as well as humans.

Lawmakers unable to see past the act of scribbling on legal paper to solve problems have been suppressing the ability of humankind to free themselves from this problem with free market solutions like hemp. Instead of pushing to legalize hemp and help to cultivate infrastructure that would boost its production, states like California moved to make straws illegal. Nice work Cali.

Plastic in the ocean is a very real danger to the environment and all life on the planet. But, are waiters and straws responsible? Should they be thrown in jail for offering a customer a straw with their iced tea?

No, and anyone who supports such tyranny does more to hinder the progress of humanity than any waiter giving a customer a straw ever would. In fact, government created the plastics problem in the first place by banning hemp.

There are solutions—outside of the police state.

Hemp, one of the most useful plants on the planet, has thousands of applications, including making plastic that is biodegradable and non-toxic.

Fuel is an option as well. In fact, the first cars were initially built to run on ethanol, or alcohol, which could also be derived from hemp. Henry Ford even famously designed a car model that ran on hemp fuel and was partially built with hemp as well.

Because of government, however, alcohol and cannabis prohibition made it impossible for these types of engines to be on the market, so the industry turned to gas and oil, which has had devastating consequences for the environment in just the last century.

Now, it appears that this paradigm is shifting. It will, however, take some time.

As Forbes notes, because prohibition has been in place for so long, the infrastructure needed to make a revolutionary change to the market is simply not there yet.

This infrastructural vacuum has created challenges around everything from seed genetics to planting to irrigation to harvesting to processing to pricing to distribution.

***

While the trends favor hemp, they are unlikely to allow industrial hemp to outproduce or outcompete petrochemical products any time soon. Nevertheless, the growing understanding of, interest in and infrastructure for hemp will certainly allow it to have a permanent place in our economy, one that will contribute to a greener, healthier world.

And just like that, we see how less laws—not more—pave the way for sustainable innovation and environmental efficiency.

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project, where this article first appeared. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Minds.

Source

Scientists Found an Edible Mushroom That Eats Plastic, and It Could Clean Our Landfills

By Elias Marat

Whether we like it or not, our society has become completely reliant on plastic. From food preservation to water transportation, computer technology to healthcare and medicine, plastic can be found in nearly every facet of the human experience.

But as we well know, plastic is a double-edged sword, with massive amounts of plastic waste not only piling up in landfills, but floating in the most remote depths of our oceans and water supplies. And despite our knowledge of plastic’s harmful effects on the environment, we’ve become so reliant on plastic that there seems to be no end in sight. In fact, plastic production is growing on a yearly basis–and posing a potentially mortal threat to us all.

However, a newly-discovered type of mushroom could not only play a crucial role in slashing plastic pollution, but could have myriad other uses in addressing the environmental crises the planet faces.

Discovered in 2012 by Yale University students, Pestalotiopsis microspora is a rare species of mushroom from the Amazon rainforest that’s capable of subsisting on a diet of pure plastic, or more accurately, the main ingredient in plastic–polyurethane–before converting the human-made ingredient into purely organic matter.

And not only can Pestalotiopsis microspora live off of our plastic waste, it can also live without oxygen–meaning that the rare breed of mushroom would make an ideal agent for landfill clean-up, literally from the bottom-up.

While the idea sounds fantastic, some scientists have expressed hope that the plastic-consuming fungi can form the basis of the community waste treatment centers of the future–replacing our current practice of dumping our trash into centralized, massive landfills with small, mushroom-centered community composting centers or even home recycling kits, according to Epoch Times.

And as it turns out, Pestalotiopsis microspora isn’t alone in the world of plastic-eating mushrooms–and some of its plastic-consuming kin are event perfectly safe for us humans to consume.

In a study led by Katharina Unger for Utrecht University in the Netherlands, oyster mushrooms and other types of mushrooms were placed in agar cups with plastic waste and held in a climate-controlled dome-shaped environment. After about a month, the roots of the mushroom consumed and transformed the plastic into an edible biomass–or food–that was completely free of any toxicity from the polyurethane.



Not only was the finished product completely free of plastic, but they also had an appealing taste, according to Unger, who described them as “sweet with the smell of anise or licorice.”

Yes, that’s right: for the very first time in history, plastic trash could be a part of our food chain–in a deliberate and surprisingly healthy way. Indeed, such a discovery–if refined–could be a part of a novel solution to food scarcity in a world brimming-over with plastic waste yet scarce on food for hundreds of millions of people.

“Our research partner [Utrecht University] expects that the digestion will go much quicker once processes are fully researched and optimized,” Unger told Dezeen magazine, adding that her team “imagined it as being used with a community or small farm setting.”

The benefits of plastic-eating mushrooms seem limitless. At the State of the World’s Fungi 2018 event in Kew Gardens, London, fungi that process polyurethane were also found to be suitable as “mushroom bricks,” or a durable and sustainable building material that could be suitable for building homes.

The management and elimination of plastic waste is among the greatest challenges we face in saving our environment. But if the natural rate of decomposition can be reduced from 400 years to a mere few months, then these fungi could soon be taking over the world.

This article was sourced from The Mind Unleashed.

Source

Thailand Supermarket Uses Innovative Banana Leaves Packaging To Avoid Unnecessary Plastic Waste

By Mayukh Saha

Plastic Plastic Plastic!

The world is slowing getting overwhelmed with the rampant use of plastic. You walk into a supermarket and all you see is heaps of plastic. Even single pieces of fruits and veggies these days are wrapped all around by plastic.

You might very well ignore this issue altogether but very soon we might be living in a sea full of plastics and would have no place to go unless of course Mr. Elon Musk lands us into Mars, eh?

Welcome to Rimping. You guys have definitely heard of Chiang Mai, Thailand right? It is the new hub of startups. And Digital Nomads, like me, hover to this place like bees.

Rimping is the supermarket that is trying to break out of this norm of using single-use plastic and trying to find an innovative and alternative solution to this growing problem.

This alternative is an interesting way to use a packaging material that can very well replace plastic.

Enter banana leaves. Being situated near the equator, Thailand is a haven for banana plantations. So, this new method is using banana leaves to wrap up the packaging and prevent the use of excess plastic.

It is definitely not a completely foolproof method just yet, as a very small amount of plastic is still required in this new technique of packaging. But this is definitely a very viable and efficient first step in the reduction of plastic waste and plastic packaging.

Let’s hope that more and more people can come up with more innovative and newer solutions to replace plastic. This surely is an amazing first step.

Kudos to the brains behind this idea who are surely making the world a better place for our future generations, and making our oceans a safer place for all the endangered species of marine life.

Following is a list of pictures taken by Simon from Perfect Homes Chiang Mai Limited. This is what he had to say about the idea:

These were simple pictures taken off my mobile phone of a what I thought was a great idea. I certainly was amazed when they went viral.

This article was sourced from Truth Theory.

Source

Goodbye Plastic! Our Journey to Sustainable Packaging for a Better World

HealthPost's journey to sustainable paper packaging

Packaging and our use of plastic has always been of concern to us. Each month we send more than 25,000 packages all over New Zealand and the world. This year we committed to eliminating outbound plastic from our supply chain, and over the last six months we’ve been working to make that reality (we’re kicking off a trial this week)… what an interesting journey it’s been! We know this is a long read, but we’re keen to share what we’ve discovered.

From day one, we’ve been aware of our impact on the world around us. Given we started doing business in the late 80s, we were well ahead of the wave – it’s a real pleasure to see other businesses waking up to sustainable practices!

Our belief that individual wellness and the wider world are linked led to the creation of our Better World donation programme. We’ve gifted more than one million dollars (NZD) to environmental and social charities, including almost $100K to the Farewell Wharariki HealthPost Nature Trust. As Trust directors and neighbours to Farewell Spit, we’re committed to protecting this precious part of Aotearoa.

For us, giving money to good causes is not enough. We’re mindful to minimise and mitigate our day-to-day impact as well. Each year we have an annual tree planting day, planting over 7,000 trees in total, and we’ve offset more than 600 tonnes of carbon through a range of initiatives.

Packaging was on the agenda for 2018. The first thing we found was that thoroughly evaluating the relative merits (and pitfalls) of different options was no simple task.

Compostable courier bags looked like a promising option initially, but then we discovered that less than half the bag is actually plant-based, the rest being petroleum! We just weren’t comfortable suggesting our customers put this in their compost or worm bin. By asking the right questions, we discovered that these products don’t break down easily in marine or landfill environments either.

We’re not bagging (no pun intended) other brands that use compostable – every little bit helps – but our discoveries meant compostable bags, however trendy, were not the option for us right now with current technologies.

Another consideration was whether we could organise soft plastic recycling in the Golden Bay area. We know this is common in bigger centres, but there is no option in our ‘hood’. Again, we were close to a partnership with the local supermarket to offer this. However, this fell through due to the end recyclers struggling to find solutions for the soft plastics already being recycled. There is a limited market for the recycled plastic products they’re producing, and destinations abroad are reluctant to take NZ soft plastics.

After many conversations, and investigating a range of options, we’ve settled on an all-paper solution for now. From late October, we’ll run a trial replacing some sizes of our plastic bags and bubble wrap bags with paper Jiffy bags. Jiffy bags are made of paper and are stuffed with recycled post-consumer paper for padding. We’ve had fun leaving these in the rain and throwing them around our dispatch department to test their strength! The Jiffys will join our paper box and paper wrapping range. Customers can expect to see paper Jiffys from late October – we’re testing a few different sizes.

Your part in all this? Well, firstly we’d love feedback on how the paper Jiffys are working for you, especially if you have experienced any breakages or damaged bags. And once you’ve received any of our paper packaging, you can re-use it, or simply pop it into your curbside recycling. Being completely transparent, we don’t recommend you compost our packaging, as our inks are not vegetable based, and we can’t be sure what inks have been used on the post-consumer paper stuffing in the Jiffys (think magazines, newspapers etc).

All going well, and the trial being a success, you can look forward to new bags carrying our logo in early 2019. We’ll be continuing to assess our packaging next year and beyond, including looking into more sustainable printing and vegetable ink options.

We’re also taking steps to tackle inbound plastic. As a business, we’re far from plastic-free, but we’re making progress. We’ll continue to share our journey, and welcome any feedback.

Lucy Butler
Executive Director

Print Friendly

Source