Xinhua News Agency, New Delhi, September 20 - Indian researchers have recently invented an environmentally friendly method of plastic degradation. They only need to place the plastic in a 70 ° C solution containing glucose and metal ions and continuously stir for several days to degrade the plastic into molecule.
A team led by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras found that the new method can be used to degrade plastic materials such as Teflon. Related research papers have been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering.
Polytetrafluoroethylene is a high performance material with heat resistance, chemical inertness, insulation stability and low friction. The researchers first placed a Teflon-coated magnetic stirrer in a 70 ° C solution for 15 days with metal ions and 1000 ppm glucose (1 ppm in parts per million).
The researchers then found tiny fragments of bright red glow on the surface of the solution. As a result, these bright tiny particles contained molecular fragments of a polytetrafluoroethylene polymer.
The study also found that Teflon did not show this degradation in the absence of agitation, glucose or metal ions; at room temperature, the degradation rate decreased; as the glucose content in the solution increased, the degradation of polytetrafluoroethylene The effect will be enhanced.
The researchers explained that PTFE may be electrically degraded into molecules by triboelectric stirring. They cautioned that because many modern cookware are coated with Teflon, similar chemical reactions can also occur on cookware, resulting in microplastics in food. Similarly, this triboelectric degradation process can also occur in the ocean, where there are a large number of metal ions, and the waves provide continuous agitation, which may be one of the ways in which marine microplastics are produced.