Future DVDs, beverage bottles may help thwart global warming

April 9th, 2008 - 5:23 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, April 9 (ANI): Carbon dioxide removed from smokestack emissions to slow global warming may soon find application in the production of DVDs, beverage bottles, and other products in the near future, says a pair of researchers.

Dr. Thomas E. Muller and Dr. Toshiyasu Sakakura say that polycarbonate plastics, which are used in such products, can be made from CO2 removed from smokestack emissions to slow global warming.

While making a presentation at the 235th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, the researchers said that such processes offered consumers the potential for less expensive, safer and greener products compared to current production methods.

Carbon dioxide is so readily available, especially from the smokestack of industries that burn coal and other fossil fuels, said Muller of the new research centre for catalysis CAT, a joint 5-year project of RWTH Aachen and industrial giant Bayer Material Science AG and Bayer Technology Services GmbH.

And its a very cheap starting material. If we can replace more expensive starting materials with CO2, then youll have an economic driving force, he added.

Sakakura, who led a research team in Japan, also described CO2 as an alternative feedstock to change carbonates and urethanes into plastics and also battery components.

The researcher, who is associated with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, said that the new process was simpler and faster than another process developed by a Japanese firm.

Muller said that no consumer product other than polycarbonates had a greater potential for use in removing carbon dioxide from the environment. Trapping carbon dioxide in those plastics would avoid the release of many million of tons into the environment, he added.

Using CO2 to create polycarbonates might not solve the total carbon dioxide problem, but it could be a significant contribution, he said.

He envisions the use of polycarbonates made from CO2 in eyeglass lenses, automotive headlamp lenses, DVDs and CDs, beverage bottles, and a spectrum of other consumer products. (ANI)

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