Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Lab Scientists Seek Cleaner, Cheaper Plastics Process.

Byline: Jennifer McKee Journal Staff Writer

You figure plastic bags are pretty cheap, right? Even free.

But what you don't see in every sandwich bag, say a pair of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, is the cloud of greenhouse gases burned up and the millions of dollars spent processing them.

"It still costs a lot of money to make a lot of cheap things," said Jennifer Young, a chemical engineer at the lab.

She and David Devlin, a lab materials scientist, have a plan to change that. For the next three years, they and a team of scientists at the lab are perfecting a way of breaking out the building blocks of plastics in particular, the kind of flimsy plastic in garbage bags and sandwich baggies from their hydrocarbon raw materials in a cheaper, cleaner way. …

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