The City College of New York Grove School of Engineering has released a new report examining advanced plastic recycling. The report concludes that advanced recycling can help avoid climate impacts. reduce demand for energy resources, It provides an important tool for expanding the circular economy.
The title of the report is “LCA Quantitative Comparison of the Current State of Advanced Recycling Technologies”.
This report was authored by Dr. Marco J. Castaldi, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of CCNY’s Geoengineering Center (EEC), and EEC Research Fellow Lauren Creadore. This report is well worth your time, and her executive summary alone is very informative.
A merged image of the report showing highlights of sections of the report. Image credit: City College of New York Grove School of Engineering. The best view is in reports displayed as pdf files.
The authors examined 13 recently completed Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) to show that advanced recycling transforms hard-to-recycle plastics into products with a lower carbon footprint than products made from new sources. I discovered that you can
The process also reduces energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional disposal methods such as landfills and waste-to-energy conversion. The use of advanced recycling contributed to the circularity of plastics in all 13 LCAs.
Specifically, the report found that advanced recycling technology enables:
- Produces plastics and chemicals with lower global warming potential compared to products made from virgin resources.
- Reduces need for fossil energy resources by up to 97% compared to landfill.
- Considering alternative chemical and energy demands, it reduces CO2-equivalent emissions by more than 100% compared to typical disposal processes.
Castaldi said: It transforms difficult-to-recycle plastics into a multitude of high-value raw materials, reduces the need for fossil resources and limits the environmental impact of waste management. Equally important, the data suggest that a transition to a circular economy would dramatically improve climate change outcomes. ”
Bob Hall of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Energy, Environment, and Waste Study Committee said: Scientific research like this by CCNY, combined with engineering ingenuity, helps inform and responsibly move us towards a more sustainable and circular future. As these technologies mature, it is imperative to conduct additional research on advanced recycling in accordance with international HIS LCA standards. ”
Annette Scotto, ASME Chair for Materials and Energy Recovery, commented:
Your humble writer, this kind of research, which incorporates so many previous studies, urges responsible people to participate in keeping the planet clean and reducing our energy and fuel needs. I might add that I do.
The landfill method is just a “time-buying” answer to the laziness problem. One day people will automatically dispose of things responsibly. I hope one.
By Brian Westenhaus via New Energy and Fuel
Other top leads from Oilprice.com: