Researcher develops steel-tough, environmentally-friendly plastic
Having biodegradable alternatives to traditional plastic materials is nothing new. However, things may soon take a very interesting turn, as a scientist is working towards developing a new type of plastic that could be used to replace steel.Professor Moshe Kol, presently an employee of the Tel Aviv University in Israel, is looking into the possibility of replacing steel and other such materials used by most of the world's industries with a super-strength polypropylene.
In order to obtain this innovative material, Professor Moshe Kol must first find a way to develop a highly efficient catalyst. This catalyst will allow for the chains of polymers of which plastic is made to be bound together as orderly as possible.
Apparently, his endeavor aims at solving to major environmental issues.
First of all, if this plastic can be used instead of steel or the like in order to make various metallic car parts, the overall weight of the vehicle would be considerably diminished, and thus less fuel would have to be burnt to propel it.
Burning less fuel means producing less gas emissions, so it would be a win-win situation both for the car owner and for the natural world.
Secondly, given the fact that this steel-tough plastic is to be biodegradable, the world would be freed of having to work long and hard to find ways to properly dispose of it.
Sciencedaily.com argues that one additional benefit is that durable plastic requires far less energy to make, which means that the production process itself would be greener than most present days manufacturing activities.
Besides the making of environmentally friendly cars, Professor Kol admits to having looked into the possibility of making water pipes out of this revolutionary material.
As he explains, his plastic pipes would be far less likely to leak or not conserve water properly: “Plastic pipes require far fewer raw materials, weighing ten times less than steel and a hundred times less than cement. Reduced leaking means more efficient water use and better water quality.”
Given the fact that, up until this moment, Professor Moshe Kol has succeeded in producing the world's strongest plastic, odds are that sooner or later his invention will be a worthy opponent for steel.