Jorge Chapa

Use CO2 to make DVDs

by , 04/14/08

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There are some intriguing ideas with how to deal with the greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation – the most commonly heard being carbon sequestration. But what else could you do with those emissions? How else could you sequester them? Well, according to Thomas E. Müller, Ph.D., and Toshiyasu Sakakura, Ph.D. CO2 could be used to make polycarbonate plastics for use in products such as DVDs.


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The information was presented at the 235th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society. The idea is simple: Take the carbon dioxide from a power plant, and instead of trapping it underneath the ground, you could sequester it into commonly used, and quite resilient, products. Carbon based plastics are already sold each year, so they are not a new product. However, using emissions to create those plastics is a new and exciting idea. And, according to Thomas E. Müller, the process of taking CO2 and turning into plastics could be a relatively cheap process.

This process could be adopted sooner than you think. However, don’t expect this to be the ultimate solution. Even if there was no potential of increasing the waste problem by creating more disposable items, the emissions problem would not be solved. “Using CO2 to create polycarbonates might not solve the total carbon dioxide problem, but it could be a significant contribution.” said Müller.

+ DVDs and CD-ROMs that thwart global warming

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