April 10, 2008 Chemists are investigating ways to use carbon dioxide removed from smokestack emissions to make a raw material for the production of DVDs, CD-ROMs, beverage bottles and other products made from polycarbonate plastics.

Apart from the benefits in terms of combating climate change, using CO2 normally released the atmosphere as a feedstock for the chemical industry, and therefore turning a myriad of plastic products into a kind of "carbon sink", could offer consumers less expensive, and safer than current production methods.

The new methodologies have been outlined in separate presentations at the 235th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society by chemists Thomas E. Müller, Ph.D., and Toshiyasu Sakakura, Ph.D.

“Using CO2 to create polycarbonates might not solve the total carbon dioxide problem, but it could be a significant contribution,” said Müller, who believes it may only be a “matter of a few years" before CO2-derived polymers are available to the public.

Via: American Chemical Society (ACS) / John Simpson.