By BRADLEY CAMPBELL
PROVIDENCE, RI – Chemists at Brown University have received a $1.75-million grant to explore ways to make plastics without petroleum. The chemist's hope to create chemicals in more sustainable way.
Think of making plastics like baking a cake. It requires a variety of ingredients, mixed together to form something new. For cake, one of the base ingredients is flour. And for plastics it's petroleum. Brown University Professor of Engineering, Tayhas Palmore, says that's a problem. Petroleum costs money, will some day run out, and it's bad for the environment. That why she and 7 other researchers are using a National Science Foundation Grant to see if petroleum can be replaced by carbon dioxide as an ingredient.
"You know this is a group of 8 scientists who are committed to finding new ways of doing chemistry that is sustainable and environmentally positive."
Palmore adds the plastics they hope to create with carbon dioxide as a base are ones most commonly used in baby diapers and plexi-glass. If the research proves promising, the team will be eligible for an additional 20 million dollar grant.
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