Executive Briefings

New Tech Promises to Cut Costs, Carbon Emissions in Plastics Manufacturing

A new technology could dramatically reduce the costs and carbon emissions in the manufacturing of the world's plastics supplies, according to researchers from Exxon Mobil and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

New Tech Promises to Cut Costs, Carbon Emissions in Plastics Manufacturing

The new system, which is still in development, is 50 times more energy efficient and could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 45 million tons globally per year - the equivalent emissions of 5 million U.S. homes, Exxon said. The industry also could save $2bn annually.

The Exxon and Georgia Tech scientists worked together and published their findings in the prominent academic journal Science.

They've essentially developed a carbon-based membrane that can separate molecules as small as a nanometer - one-billionth the size of a meter (A sheet of paper is 100,000 nanometers thick). The membrane acts as a filter to separate a chemical building block, called para-xylene, used to make plastics and polyester. The current industry methods use high-energy heating processes to separate those molecules. The new system can work at room temperature.

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The new system, which is still in development, is 50 times more energy efficient and could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 45 million tons globally per year - the equivalent emissions of 5 million U.S. homes, Exxon said. The industry also could save $2bn annually.

The Exxon and Georgia Tech scientists worked together and published their findings in the prominent academic journal Science.

They've essentially developed a carbon-based membrane that can separate molecules as small as a nanometer - one-billionth the size of a meter (A sheet of paper is 100,000 nanometers thick). The membrane acts as a filter to separate a chemical building block, called para-xylene, used to make plastics and polyester. The current industry methods use high-energy heating processes to separate those molecules. The new system can work at room temperature.

Read Full Article

New Tech Promises to Cut Costs, Carbon Emissions in Plastics Manufacturing