Here's a neat discovery that solves two problems at once: scientists have identified classes of organic chemicals that can capture CO2 from the atmosphere and then be used to make safe (BPA-free) plastics.
BPA, a chemical with a growing list of health concerns, is commonly used in rigid polycarbonate plastics (about 2.7 million tons are made every year). Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore have found a way to make a BPA-free polycarbonate plastic through a process using chemicals called imidazoliums and N-heterocyclic carbenes that "grab" CO2 molecules and bond them with epoxide molecules.
The process removes CO2 from the atmosphere and makes a safe form of plastic for drinking bottles, CDs and other typical BPA-laced containers. If that weren't enough, this process also gets rid of the need for petroleum in the manufacture of plastics, which would reduce the material's carbon footprint even further.
via Yale e360
written by mee, June 04, 2010
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