National University of Singapore will scrap plastic bottle into a super lightweight material

National University (NUS) in Singapore researchers to address the global problem of plastic waste to make a significant contribution, they created a plastic bottle waste into airgel for many useful applications. Plastic bottles generally terephthalate (PET) is made of polyethylene, which is the world\’s largest recycled plastic. The use of waste plastic bottles developed by the research team led by the National University of Singapore PET aerogels – which is a world first – a soft, flexible, durable, very light and easy to handle. They also have excellent thermal insulation properties and strong absorption capacity. These characteristics make it has broad application prospects, such as building insulation and sound insulation, oil cleanup, and light lining fire suit and mask to absorb carbon dioxide, can be used for fire and rescue and escape. ​新加坡国立大学将塑料瓶废料转化为超轻的超级材料 Toxic waste plastic and non-biodegradable. This waste often end up flowing into the oceans and landfills, affecting marine life and cause groundwater pollution and scarcity of land and other issues. On a global scale, the annual consumption of plastic bottles has been growing steadily, is expected to 2021, annual consumption will be more than 5 trillion tons. Plastic bottle waste is the most common type of plastic waste, have an adverse impact on the environment. The research team developed a simple, economical and environmentally friendly way, the plastic PET bottle waste into aerogels, for a variety of purposes. A plastic bottle can be recycled to produce airgel a4 size PET sheet. This manufacturing technique also easy to mass produce. In this way, we can help reduce plastic waste harmful to the environment. The research team spent two years (from August 2016 to August 2018) to develop technology to produce PET airgel. The PET airgel very versatile. We can give them different surface treatments, to customize them for different applications. For example, when adding different methyl, PET airgel can absorb a large amount of oil very quickly. According to our experiments, their performance is seven times higher than existing commercial adsorbents, and is ideal for cleaning up oil spills. ​新加坡国立大学将塑料瓶废料转化为超轻的超级材料 Another application is the novel use of PET airgel insulation for fire safety applications. Existing fire service bulky, often used in conjunction with other respiratory and safety equipment. This could have hurt firefighters, especially in the long-term operations. PET new lightweight airgel coated flame retardant, having excellent heat resistance and stability. It can withstand 620 degrees Celsius temperature — This is seven times the conventional heat-insulating layer fire service, but only about 10% by weight of a conventional heat-insulating layer. PET soft flexible airgel also provides greater comfort. By using PET coated with flame retardants airgel as a lining material, firefighter coat may become lighter, safer and cheaper, but also that personal use of low-cost production of heat-resistant jacket. When ​新加坡国立大学将塑料瓶废料转化为超轻的超级材料 Dang compounds are amines, PET aerogels can rapidly absorb carbon dioxide environment. Its absorption capacity of the material can be used with comparable gas mask, which is both expensive and cumbersome. To illustrate this application, a thin layer of the research team will be fitted into a commercial PET airgel fine particles in the mask, to produce a kind of dust particles can effectively absorb the carbon dioxide absorbent can effectively mask the prototype. In Singapore, such as the highly urbanized country, the use of PET airgel made of carbon dioxide absorption heat jacket and face mask can be placed in the high-rise building with a fire extinguisher, in order to provide additional protection in the event of civilians to escape from the fire. Researchers are still studying the National University of Singapore for PET airgel simple surface modification, to absorb toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon monoxide, smoke is the most deadly ingredients. In their earlier work, the research team has successfully scrap paper and fashion are converted into cellulose and cotton airgel. The research team has applied for a patent for its new PET airgel technology, and will continue to improve the performance of PET aerogels and explore new applications.

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