Azza was the champion of the 2011 European Union Contest for Young Scientists for finding a new way of turning plastic into biofuel. She won the European Fusion Development Agreement award at the 23rd European Union Contest for Young Scientists — involving 130 competitors from 37 countries — held in Finland last year (23–28 September).
What makes her idea stand out is the catalyst that she’s proposing. A high-yield catalyst called aluminosilicate has been found by her which can break down plastic waste and also produce gaseous products like methane, propane and ethane, which can then be converted into ethanol.
According to Azza, the technology might provide an economically efficient ways for production of hydrocarbon fuel including 40,000 tons per year of cracked naptha and 138,000 tons of hydrocarbon gasses – the equivalent of $78 million in biofuel.
Since Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute is still seeking to reduce its waste, Azza findings has opened their eyes and generated a lot of interest from them. At this moment of time Azza still seeking to obtain her findings patented this year through the Egyptian Patent Office and scaling up the idea to ensure that it can turn out to be a tangible project on the ground.
As we know plastic waste is really a major concern in the Middle East and for our oceans, on the other hand hopefully this idea will help convert the problem into a solution. Hope this young Egyptian scientists will continue to be at the forefront of environmental solutions.
References: Green Prophet