New material discovered in plastics industry prevents plastic from ageing and proves to be highly environmentally friendly

Published Date : Jun 27, 2014

The new material discovered in the plastics industry when applied to plastic lining has the ability to clean up exhaust gases from power plants that are much more effective than any other traditional methods. 

The techniques used in this industry can separate out raw materials such as solids, liquids, and gases, in turn accounting for 40 percent of the world’s energy use every year. 

Dr Sam Lau leads the program and the new techniques offers a solution that helps to make the separation process 50 times faster. Currently, power generatorsrely on the plastic linings – which are made up of tiny holes, around one nanometer wide having a tiny fraction of a width of a human hair, he added. 

Nevertheless, for decades scientistshave been planning to use plastics with larger holes in order to improve the efficiency of the entire process. But practically, larger openings age very quickly and collapse within a matter of few days. Hence, the new technology is made up of compact materials known as Metallic Organic Frameworks – or MOFs that consists of surface areaas big as a football field in just a single gram. MOFs have the capacity to freeze the larger holey structures in its own place for an entire year. Due to this characteristic, the lining with larger holes has become a viable option in the industry. It allows them to complete an entire process at a 50 times higher speed as compared to conventional methods. 

Dr. Lau said this is a much more efficient approach that helps to translate huge costs and efficient savings for those companies that are interested in taking this up. The technique does not only have the ability to clean up exhaust gases from power plants, but it is also used in several other things. They are namely; to enhance the purity of natural gas streams, the separation of water from alcohols (through a process of biofuel synthesis) and through dye removal in the textile industry, added the Dr. 

He also added that this discovery is long awaited for it to be applied commercially within one to two years.