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Christmas trees can be recycled into raw material that can be used to make paints or sweeteners

2018-12-31

According to the university of Sheffield, every year after Christmas, about 7 million Christmas trees end up in landfill - and that's just in the UK. Normally, evergreen occipital leaves take a long time to decompose and release large amounts of greenhouse gases. Researchers from the university of Sheffield have come up with the idea of using recycled Christmas trees as a raw material for paints or sweeteners.
Cynthia Kartey, a PhD student at the university, has been studying ways to break down lignocellulose, a complex polymer that makes up about 85% of pine needles.She found that if pine needles were exposed to a cheap, environmentally friendly solvent, such as glycerin, for pyrolysis -- the decomposition of biomass by heating in the absence of oxygen -- the polymer could be converted into liquid oils and solid biochar.Bio-oils contain glucose, acetic acid and phenol, which can be used in the manufacturing process of food sweeteners, paints/adhesives and disinfectants, respectively.
In the future, the trees that decorate your house can be turned into paint for the holidays, and then you can redecorate your house. Biorefineries will use a relatively simple process to do this.

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