A team from the English University of Cambridge has made a solar powered reactor The journal Nature Synthesis publishes Monday a study capable of turning plastic waste and greenhouse gases into sustainable fuels.
The reactor consists of two separate compartments, one for plastics and the other for gases, allows you to convert two waste streams into two chemicals at the same time. According to the authors, this is the first time that this has been achieved with a system driven by light.
According to the magazine, the reactor uses a perovskite-based light absorber, a “promising alternative” to silicon for next-generation solar cells.
The team designed various catalysts to be integrated into the light absorber, so that they could be changed depending on the desired end product.
The authors explain that the reactor converts carbon dioxide (CO2) and plastics into various useful components in various industrial sectors.
In experiments, CO2 was converted to syngasThe key to sustainable liquid fuels and plastic bottles turned glycolic acidWhich is used in the cosmetics industry.
“Converting waste into something usable using solar energy is one of the main goals of our research,” says Erwin Reisner from the Yusuf Hamid Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge.
His colleague, Subhajit Bhattacharjee, explains that “the invention of a solar-powered technology that can tackle plastic pollution and greenhouse gases at the same time could be key to the development of a circular economy.”