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Len Rosen's picture
Principal Author and Editor, 21st Century Tech Blog

Futurist, Writer and Researcher, now retired, former freelance writer for new technology ventures. Former President & CEO of Len Rosen Marketing Inc., a marketing consulting firm focused on...

  • Member since 2018
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  • Mar 23, 2023

The Institute of Cooperative Upcycling of Plastic (iCOUP) along with researchers from Cornell and the Argonne National Laboratory have invented a catalyst capable of deconstructing complex hydrocarbon-based materials like plastic. The technology is inexpensive and effective and could be a game changer for the chemical and fossil fuel industries. 

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Mar 24, 2023

«So what’s left to do to switch on the power of this catalyst to help deal with plastic and other hydrocarbon waste? The immediate need is to improve plastic, oil and gas waste-capturing systems and build out an infrastructure to process the waste into useful products.»

Sorry to sound impatient. But, what is the hold up? I imagine many consumers would be happy to deliver plastic for upcycling if they were reasonably confident that it would happen. I venture to say that they would even pay a marginal extra cost to ensure it.

Is the process cost effective? Does it require legislation to make it happen? Are large scale projects underway?

Len Rosen's picture
Len Rosen on Mar 24, 2023

Hi Mark,

What I wrote about came from a newly published paper describing a novel invention. I wish haste preoccupied researchers when they come up with something new. But my guess is that the technology is replicable, and if it remains as inexpensive as the inventors profess, we will see it become widely adopted. Recycling programs have been ineffective around plastic. That's why so much of it ends up in our lakes, rivers and oceans, and in the gut of wildlife and ourselves. See: 

I understand your impatience. I'm not convinced after looking at how my neighbours recycle that general consumers understand the necessity of disposing of plastic using circular economic principles. 



Len Rosen's picture
Thank Len for the Post!
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