Current Event and Placing Animals

Ridding the oceans of plastics by turning the waste into valuable fuel

Organic chemist and sailboat captain, James Holm, reported that him and Swaminathan Ramesh are developing a process to reuse certain plastics, transforming worthless trash into diesel fuel with a small mobile reactor. They envision the technology places on boats to convert waste into fuel to power the vessels.

Holm and Ramesh had the same goal, to rid the world of plastic waste by creating a market for it. Pyrolysis technologies were used to break down/depolymerize unwanted polymers (plastic), leaving a hydrocarbon-based fuel. The only problem is that the process had complex and costly refining steps to make the fuel usable.

They were able to change the game and develop a metallocene catalyst deposited on a porous support material that when coupled with a controlled pyrolysis reaction, yields diesel fuels directly without further refining.

“The catalyst system also allows us to perform the pyrolysis as a continuous-feed process and shrink the footprint of the whole system,” Ramesh says. “We can scale the capacity to handle anywhere from 200 pounds per 10-hour day to 10,000 or more pounds per 10-hour day. Because of its small size, we also can take the technological process to where the plastic wastes are.”

The whole system can fit in a 20-foot container, Holm says.

“If we can get people around the world to pick this up and use it to shift waste plastics to fuel and make money, we are winning,” Holm says. “We can even eliminate plastic waste before it gets to the oceans by creating value for it locally on a global basis.”


The researchers are presenting their results at the 253rd National Meeting and Expositions of the American Chemical Society.


Placing Animals

The whole concept of pets seems normal but this book expresses it in a way I never thought of. Humans love and are obsessed with their pets but they don’t do anything for us besides give us happiness. I believe they help us mentally but obviously not physical. We have to pay for their food, healthcare, and grooming, we pick up/clean their waste, etc. We feel as though we need pets to be content.

Animal geography was interesting to read about. It was an eye opener to me when the book mentioned the value of animals changes wherever you go. We may value a pet here in America but in another country that pet is just food. Animal testing does bother me. I feel like animals should had equal rights like humans. It’s unfair, it would be like another species probing and inserting humans with chemicals. Just because we can’t understand animals’ languages doesn’t mean they’re any less than we, humans, are.

I plan to be more conscious of my purchases now, not to get anything that is made from or tested on animals. I never realized how much stupid stuff is tested on animals and how many animals die from us just trying to have a more convenient life.








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