Making Plastics from Sugar

Making plastic just got a whole lot sweeter for the environment.

A San Diego based firm, Dow Chemical, claims it can now make thousands of tons of a foundational chemical in plastics from sugarcane rather than petroleum.

Later this year Dow, in partnership with the Japanese firm Mitsui & Co., will start building a plant capable of producing 240 million liters of ethanol. Curretly Dow is already growing sugarcane across 42,000 acres of land in Brazil. By 2012, Dow plans to adapt the plant to convert the ethanel into hundresd of thousands of metric tons of polyethylene, which is the world's most widely used plastic.

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Posted by Yale Environment 360