Research scientists in IBM have discovered a new recycle process to convert old smartphones and CD’s into non-toxic and high-strength plastics.
As said by IBM in a press statement , every year the world generates more than 2.7 million tons of a plastic, known as polycarbonates, to create common household items, such as CDs, baby bottles, eyeglass lenses and smartphones. Over time, polycarbonates decompose and leach BPA, a chemical which potentially damaging effects on the brain.
Now IBM scientsits from the company’s Almaden lab in San Jose, California, have discovered a new, one-step chemical process that converts polycarbonates into plastics
safe for water purification, fiber optics and medical equipment.
IBM Researchers in study added a fluoride reactant and heat to old CDs to create this new plastic. The new plastic has temperature and chemical resistance superior to the original substance and great strength.
“Polycarbonates are common plastics in our society – especially in consumer electronics in the form of LED screens, smartphones and Blu-rays, as well as everyday eyeglass lenses, kitchen utensils and household storage gear,” said Gavin O Jones, PhD, research staff member, IBM Research – Almaden (San Jose, California).
He adds “We now have a new way of recycling to improve how this prominent substance impacts the world’s health and environment”.
“While preventing these plastics from entering landfills, we simultaneously recycle the substance into a new type of plastic — safe and strong enough for purifying our water and producing medical equipment,” said Jeanette Garcia, PhD, research staff member, IBM Research. “It’s an environmental win on many fronts.”