Today’s Solutions: January 30, 2023

Unlike plastics, glass can be recycled many times over—making it a much more sustainable material. The only issues are the recycling process is generally limited to large pieces that can be easily sorted by color. When glass is shattered into small fragments, they tend to simply be discarded by recycling facilities. In order to make something useful out of small fragments of wasted glass, researchers have come up with a process that dissolves miscellaneous glass fragments into liquid silicate. That liquid can subsequently be used in a wide variety of products, from tires and detergents to tooth paste and concrete sealant. What’s more, the process of converting small fragments of glass into liquid silicate requires relatively little energy and is 50 percent cheaper to do than existing production systems, making it a win-win for both the environment and production companies.

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