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Turning waste products into plastics

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University of Arizona chemists hope to profit on the smelly remains of refined petroleum after discovering a way to turn sulfur into plastic infrared lenses. The process of hydro desulfurization was developed in the 1980s to remove sulfur from petroleum to prevent acid rain. In the years since, sulfur deposits have grown rapidly. The U.S goes through approximately 20 million barrels of oil a day. Five percent of every barrel of oil is sulfur. The sulfur removed from petroleum is often stacked in large pyramid like deposits. Tons of pure elemental sulfur sits in these reservoirs, with minimal practical use. “We have more sulfur in the world then we know what to do with. We talk about this as one of the biggest environmental problems no one knows about,” said Research Chemistry Professor Jeffery Pyun.  While working on research...

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