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Recycling plastic: Vinyl polymer broken down to aspirin components

Depending on where you reside, the majority of the things around you might be made of different types of plastic. Now, if you're outside, various parts of your car, the buses and trains, even the interior of airplanes are mostly plastic. Currently there are not many methods to recycle plastics efficiently without compromising quality. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise that not a day goes by without news of microplastics in our oceans and possibly in our food supply.  A beacon of hope was recently lit at Shinshu University where Professor Yasuhiro Kohsaka and his graduate student Akane Kazama discovered acid hydrolysis of a vinyl polymer broke down into salicylic acid and acetic acid. These acids form aspirin through some reactions. Vinyl is the second most common plastic in the world today. Previous recyclable vinyl had been too unstable to work with at room temperature, and was not suitable for practical use.  Read more....

 

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