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Media TIp | Argonne National Laboratory

Media Tip: Plastic production via advanced recycling lowers GHG emissions

Energy systems researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory unveiled a groundbreaking solution using advanced recycling methods for post-use plastics to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 18% to 23% compared to traditional fossil-based plastic production methods. Published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, this study showcases how pyrolysis, a high-temperature process converting plastics into valuable oils, could transform post-use plastics into new, low-density and high-density polyethylene, reducing the reliance on fossil resources to produce new plastic. By integrating just 5% of pyrolysis oil from post-use plastic, this innovation not only drives sustainability goals but also paves the way for a 40% to 50% reduction in emissions compared to current plastic manufacturing practices.

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Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.