When it was discovered, plastic seemed to be the perfect material, the one that would have revolutionized the world: in fact it was because no other substance was light, flexible, resistant to mechanical and thermal stress, economical and extremely durable over time. For all these reasons, today we are literally invaded: the biggest flaw of plastic is its difficulty in being recycled, or in being brought back into the state of its small basic molecules. Researchers at the University of Colorado, however, say they have succeeded, or rather have created a 'green' plastic material.
The Colorado researchers have synthesized a material similar to plastic, but that can also be recycled endlessly.
It is a polymer that has the same properties as plastics, such as lightness, heat resistance, flexibility and durability. The new polymer, however, unlike the plastics derived from petroleum, can be converted into the form of small constituent molecules.
What the researchers emphasize is that conversion to the 'basic' form can be done without aggressive and polluting chemical solvents and without particular laboratory conditions: on the contrary, everything takes place at room temperature, without toxic substances and within a a few minutes. That's why the new polymer is really the green twin of plastic.
At the moment the material remains a laboratory test and the scientists say they are still far from writing a patent: they do not have the confidence to continue their studies, on the contrary, they maintain that it is an epochal discovery like the one that, decades ago, led to the discovery of plastic.