Researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a system that can transform plastic waste and greenhouse gases into sustainable fuels and other valuable products – using only energy from the Sun.

The reactor converts carbon dioxide (CO2) and plastics into sustainable fuels that are useful in a range of different industries. During the testing stage, CO2 was converted into syngas, an important building block for sustainable liquid fuels. Moreover, plastic bottles were converted into glycolic acid, which is widely used in the cosmetics industry. The system can be easily tuned to produce different products by changing the type of catalyst used in the reactor.

Professor Erwin Reisner and his team recently received new funding from the European Research Council to help the development of sustainable fuels through their solar-powered reactor. Over the next five years, they are aiming to further develop the reactor to produce more complex molecules. According to the researchers, similar techniques to this one could be used someday to develop an entirely solar-powered recycling plant.

Source: Innovation News Network

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