Waste glass creates serious environmental problems, mainly due to the inconsistency of waste glass streams. With increasing environmental pressure to reduce solid waste and to recycle as much as possible, it is important to research methods in which this waste can be utilised. The non-returnable bottles are the main source of environmental pollution since they are non-biodegradable and hence if disposed, they accumulate in landfills, taking up useful space for biodegradable materials. Therefore, it is necessary to recycle glass to a more useful product (nanosilica) and control environmental pollution.
The major environmental impact of glass production is caused by atmospheric emissions from melting activities.
- The process received energy from combustion of fossil fuels which leads to emission of CO2
- The decomposition of raw materials during the melting process also exacerbates the emissions.
- Evaporation from the molten glass and raw materials can cause release of particles into the atmosphere.
- Other environmental issues are water pollution, the use of non-renewable natural raw materials such as sand and minerals, production of solid waste and emission of volatile organic compounds.
WASTE GLASS TO NANOSILICA
Due to the technology gap that exists in South African industries, waste glass presents an opportunity to use the glass to produce useful nano silica which can be used to improve the quality of products due to their novel properties.
Nano-silica has wide range of applications which include:
- As a strengthening filler for concrete and other construction composites.
- Basis for biomedical research as it is stable.
- Can be widely used in ceramics and porcelain.
- As abrasives in the electronics industry.
- Used in plastic manufacturing industry as it significantly improves strength, toughness, wear resistance and aging resistance of plastics.
MSSR GREEN NANOSILICA TECHNOLOGY
MSSR Technology’s novel method of processing waste glass to nano-silica takes advantage of this waste to produce useful materials. The production of nano-silica satisfies the 3R’s of pollution control by:
- Recycling of bottles in order to
- Reuse them thereby
- Reducing the pollution.