Scientists upcycle hard-to-recycle plastics into semiconductors


Researchers at Rice University have developed an energy-efficient upcycling method to transform glass fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) into silicon carbide, a material with applications such as semiconductors and sandpaper. GFRP is a durable material used in applications like aircraft parts and windmill blades, and its end-of-life management has been a challenge due to its robust nature. The new recycling process involves grinding up GFRP, adding carbon to make the mixture conductive, and applying high voltage to transform the plastic and carbon into silicon carbide. The approach is more environmentally friendly and cost-effective than methods like incineration. Read more about upcycling GFRP into useful materials.

Photo by Aam Cumming on Unsplash