JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Shredded waste plastic. A technician holding a handful of shredded waste plastic at a recycling facility. The plastic seen here contains a wide variety of polymer types as is often found in domestic waste. These shredded fragments will be heated to over 400 degrees Celsius in a fluidised bed of sand. This breaks down the plastic into its basic hydrocarbon constituents, which are given off as gases. These are filtered and cooled to produce a very pure, waxy substance which can be used as a primary feedstock for oil refineries and the petrochemical industry. Photographed at BP's Feedstock Recycling Pilot Plant, Grangemouth, Scotland.
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