A solution adapted to the global problem of plastic waste

Singapore: Imagine There is a way to turn plastic waste that ends up in the oceans and dumped into a saving material, for example, to make cheap fireproof jackets for all people.
It is not difficult to do-at least, no more-for a team of researchers in Singapore who dream of reducing environmental waste and sharing their progress with the world.
These scientists from the Singapore National University and the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology have converted polyethylene terephthalate vials (PET) into a highly insulating and absorbent material called aerogel.
The Airgels, the lightest and most porous materials known to humans, have existed since the years 1930-and were used to isolate Mars Pathfinder Rovers in the 1990 years.
The aerogel is bent. But this is the first time that a aerogel has been made from PET, the same plastic used for water bottles and sodas.
The announcement and with an estimate of 8 million tons of plastic waste penetrating the world’s oceans every year, there is no shortage of material that could be recycled into products of airgels.
Its potential real applications include: As forage for fire retardants and carbon dioxide absorption masks that could be used in a fire; Better thermal insulation and soundproofing in buildings; and clean up the oil spills.
NUS Associate Professor Hai Minh Duong, co-director of the research team, once asked when he saw oil and plastic residue on the beach: “Can we use trash on the beach to clean up the spill? ”
Co-president of the co-leader, Prof. Nhan Phan-Thien, wanted to develop a real product for all after a life after producing theories.
“We want everyone to have a jacket (fire retardant). We all live in high-rise buildings, for example, and the first is security. And if there is a fire… Everybody can be sure, “quote.
Now they have found a solution for this and more.
Assoc Prof. Hai Minh Duong (left) and Prof. Nhan Phan-Thien. Better than what there is about 95 percent of the volume of a aerogel is made of air, so the high internal surface of the material and the absorbent properties of the material.
Based on the team’s experiences, when your aerogel is covered with some water repellent chemicals, it absorbs up to seven times as much oil as the existing commercial varieties can absorb – and faster.
Due to its insulating properties, it reduces the sound more than any conventional insulating foam and insulates against the heat several times better than the optical fiber.
Oil spills threaten marine life. When coated with flame retardants, it can withstand temperatures up to 620 degrees Celsius – seven times more flame retardant than the thermal liner in conventional fire fighting, but at about 10 percent of the weight.
To explain why the Airgels obtain different coatings or superficial modifications, Dr. Duong uses the metaphor of a videogame. “It’s like an extension pack when you buy the game ,” says the 44-year-old.
“With surface modification, you can get the wide range of applications, such as the coating of airgels… With an amine chemistry, they can absorb toxic gases and carbon dioxide. ”
The most common type of aerogel available in the trade is the silicon Bird, which says it sells for over S $40 a sheet (A4 size) and is mainly used in aerospace, car, gas and oil industry.
But their aerogel PET would cost about 50 cents to produce, with a recycled bottle producing a leaf.
In addition to developing a more ecological and profitable aerogel, his team also reduced the production process, which usually takes up to seven days, about eight to ten hours.
This is the recipe used to “Cook ” the materials. and Dr. Duong has another metaphor for a complex process that begins with the transformation of PET into fiber: It’s like chemistry between two people.
It is very similar to fiber and fiber. If you want to (to keep the link) strong and, you need… The chemical reaction between them “he says.