A highlight from New technology for recycling composite materials

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And so from the naked scientists are reminded of what cambridge has been doing for quite a while. we have baby food vouchers. We have paint tubes. We have sashes bags for instant coffee. Pet food pouches. Plastic aluminum laments are being used for all sorts of products. And what we have much to do is to create a process that actually read. There's these things plastic. Aluminium laminates recyclable before. They weren't recyclable before they weren't recyclable. We separate plastic from the aluminum. It's a chemical separation in the sense that we paralyzed the plastic by oliseh a process where you have something that could burn. But you apply that energy in the absence of oxygen therefore that something that could burn doesn't burn because there's no oxygen just degrades into other things in the case of plastic of your paralyzed plastic. You hit it up to very high hunters in this case around six hundred degrees and because plastic came from oil in the first place what we do is to produce an oil similar to what you have in crude oil so you are turning back plastic into its original crude oil. We feed the packaging into the shredder. All the pouches sashes tubes etc get shredded into flakes and that goes into the oven we use microwaves to heat up their reactor. Microwaves microwave induced barrels. And now some of the listeners on british you will think on earth are you hitting plastics using microwaves. When i know that if i put a plastic dish which soup in the microwave and in the kitchen super heats up the plastic doesn't so how do we do it well we hit up carbon with the microwaves and ones that that carbon is hot. Then we start the addition of material so the microwaves. Don't actually heat up the thing that you're changing correct. So the micro skied up carbon and then the carbon transfers the heat by conduction to the material the plastic the plastic pyrolysis the gases escape the reactor and we cool them down about seventy five percent condense into annoy around twenty five percent of what was plastic remains as gas. And that gas. We feed into an electricity generator that then feeds the microwaves to produce the energy that we need for the so. You can use only a quarter of the petro product basically to power the rest of the plant. Correct the aluminum. On the other. Hand it forms flakes. Then we melt. Unformed ingles so all this that carlos is describing happens inside a big industrial building en val has set up their plan so i asked him to show

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