DISCOVERY: New polymer could lead to ‘infinitely’ recyclable plastics.

17. November 2018 | via Colorado State University

Eugene Chen’s lab at Colorado State University has developed a completely recyclable polymer. (Credit: Bill Cotton/Colorado State University)

According to Colorado State University chemists have announced in the journal Science another major step toward waste-free, sustainable materials that could one day compete with conventional plastics. Led by Eugene Chen, professor in the Department of Chemistry, they have discovered a polymer with many of the same characteristics we enjoy in plastics, such as light weight, heat resistance, strength and durability. But the new polymer, unlike typical petroleum plastics, can be converted back to its original small-molecule state for complete chemical recyclability. This can be accomplished without the use of toxic chemicals or intensive lab procedures.