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Waste & Recycling November 29, 2023 02:01:34 AM

Recycling Cigarette Waste to Produce Green Fuel

Waste Advantage
ScrapMonster Author
Smokers around the world buy roughly 6.5 trillion cigarettes each year.

Recycling Cigarette Waste to Produce Green Fuel

SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): Stricter environmental norms and fossil fuel pollution call for cleaner fuels such as biodiesel. This vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel is biodegradable—up to four times faster than petroleum diesel—and nontoxic. However, the high production cost of biodiesel remains a major barrier to its wider applicability, and, depending on the biomass source, using it may cause pollution. Adding a blender such as a triacetin compound, can solve both of these issues, according to research. Unfortunately, triacetin is usually produced chemically, consuming a lot of chemicals, and resulting in waste and toxic residues.

“Triacetin is used as a plasticizer in cigarettes’ filter, so, naturally, cigarette butts are rich in it,” says Samy Yousef, a chief researcher at Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania. Together with his colleagues from the Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI), he conducted a series of experiments where they used pyrolysis to thermally decompose cigarette waste. The experiments were carried out in a 200 g reactor at different reaction temperatures (650, 700, and 750°C). The biggest quantity of triacetin (43%) was synthesized at 750°C.

Smokers around the world buy roughly 6.5 trillion cigarettes each year. The average weight of a cigarette butt is 0.2 g; more than 1.1 million tons of them are produced annually. Cigarette waste contains extensive amounts of toxic chemicals, carcinogens, microplastic fibers, and radioactive elements that need special attention.

Courtesy: www.wasteadvantage.com


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