Plastic made from co2 infopost

In search of an alternative to petroleum products, a group of scientists from the Standford University has discovered a way to make plastic from carbon dioxide and inedible biomass – like crop residues and grass. The researchers say that if this alternative is viable, it would drastically reduce carbon emissions from the plastics industry.

In the world some 50 million tons of PET are produced per year, and more than 4 tons of CO2 are generated per ton of PET produced. The PEF alternative, which is made from biomass instead of oil, has long existed, but no way has been found to produce it at cost on a large scale. One possible solution that has been explored is to make PEF from fructose from corn syrup, but it still leaves a large carbon footprint and would compete with the food industry.

That’s why the Stanford scientists have experimented with a compound made from inedible agricultural material, and CO2 that could be obtained from emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants, or other industrial plants. Now, as the researchers themselves say, further work is needed to give this alternative to PET economic viability on a large scale.