http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-06/acs-oc061305.phpRecycled plastic bottles could one day be used to lubricate your car's engine, according to researchers at Chevron and the University of Kentucky, who in laboratory experiments converted waste plastic into lubricating oil. These polyethylene-derived oils, they say, could help improve fuel economy and reduce the frequency of oil changes.
The pilot study appears in the July 20 issue of the American Chemical Society's peer-reviewed journal Energy & Fuels. ACS is the world's largest scientific society.
"This technology potentially could have a significant environmental impact. It could make a difference in communities that want to do something positive about their waste plastic problem, especially if there is a refinery nearby that could do all of the processing steps," says the study's lead author Stephen J. Miller, Ph.D., a senior consulting scientist and Chevron Fellow at Chevron Energy Technology Company in Richmond, Calif.
Americans use about 25 million tons of plastic each year. However, only about 1 million tons of it is recycled, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The remainder ends up in landfills. [continued]