Subscribe
Subscribe
MY AMERICAN SCIENTIST
LOG IN! REGISTER!
SEARCH
 
Logo IMG
HOME > PAST ISSUE > July-August 1998 > Article Detail

FEATURE ARTICLE

Is Combustion of Plastics Desirable?

Plastic waste may provide a reliable and clean source of energy. It may not make sense to bury it

Bruce Piasecki, David Rainey, Kevin Fletcher

Figure 7. Crane transports bulk wasteClick to Enlarge Image

Plastic waste is mounting, mostly in landfills, and our authors review current disposal strategies, which also include recycling and burning. Plastics, they note, can be a clean and potent source of energy when burned. The authors review the trade-offs involved in waste-to-energy combustion and argue that as pollution controls improve, the release of toxic emissions—primarily dioxins and heavy metals—can be minimized. They conclude that the risks are not as great as the public assumes and end by advocating an increase in waste-to-energy programs.


 Go to Article


comments powered by Disqus
 

EMAIL TO A FRIEND :

Of Possible Interest

Computing Science: Belles lettres Meets Big Data

Feature Article: Engines Powered by the Forces Between Atoms

Technologue: Quantum Randomness

Subscribe to American Scientist