May 17, 2017 04:11 AM EDT
Think twice before throwing away materials deemed as a "waste" like papers and pulp industry products. A new research has concluded that these so-called "waste materials" could still be transformed into something like tennis rackets and cars.
Moreover, the study also claims that the usage of these waste materials could lead to more job openings in the US. The reason behind it is because of the chance of the country's agriculture and biotechnology collaborating together in order to create renewable products.
In a study published in Royal Society of Chemistry peer-reviewed journal Green Chemistry titled "Quality Carbon Fingers From Fractionated Lignin," the research team has concluded that the use of lignin could lead to reusing of materials, particularly as a biofuel. Lignin is a structural part of a plant which is being piled up from waste materials like papers and pulp industry products.
Lead author Joshua Yuan from Texas A&M AgriLife Research said that their team has finally derived a solution on the ongoing problem of utilizing carbon fiber from waste materials. "We have overcome one of the industry's most challenging issues by discovering how to make good quality carbon fiber from waste," he said.
Yuan also said that there are already several of attempts of using lignin from waste materials to make carbon fibers but the quality is far to reach. "People have been thinking about using lignin to make carbon fiber for many years, but achieving good quality has been an issue," Yuan said.
In an article published in Phys.org, Yuan also said that this study about reusing waste materials could lead to more job creations in the US. This is because there would be an entire supply chain that could create jobs.
"When we are able to use the same biomass to produce different things, that allows the best economic return by being sustainable," he said. Eventually, creating products from waste materials would lead to increasing jobs and enhancing economic growth, Yuan added.
The research shows that about 50 million tons of lignin from waste materials piled up every year from the US paper and pulping industry. Despite this, only two percent of lignin is used in recycling new products.