How we can turn plastic waste into green energy



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In the adventure classic Back to the Future, Emmett “Doc” Brown uses energy generated from rubbish to power his DeLorean time machine. But while a time machine may still be some way off, the prospect of using rubbish for fuel isn’t too far from reality. Plastics, in particular, contain mainly carbon and hydrogen, with similar energy content to conventional fuels such as diesel. Plastics are among the most valuable waste materials – although with the way people discard them, you probably wouldn’t know it. It’s possible to convert all plastics directly into useful forms of energy and chemicals for industry,…

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