NSF-funded researchers from Texas A&M University
have pioneered a method to accelerate the conversion
of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas into the biodegradable
thermoplastics used in eyeglass lenses, shatterproof
glass, baby bottles, and CDs and DVDs.
Current methods for making thermoplastics generally require petroleum. However,
researchers have pioneered a method to produce biodegradable
plastic products using atmospheric CO2--a productive use for the greenhouse gas.
Researchers are now working to develop effective non-toxic metal catalysts for producing another extremely useful plastic, polycarbonate, from CO2 and other compounds. This plastic can be made into biodegradable rubber-like substances that have potential biomedical applications, such as surgical sutures, drug delivery devices, and body or dental implants.
Researchers have pioneered a method to speed up production of biodegradable plastic products manufactured using atmospheric carbon dioxide, providing a productive use for the greenhouse gas.