Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 25th Jul 2009

The Science of Rubbish

recycle (c) krdan

The UK population has chucked out almost 7 million tonnes of rubbish since our last podcast so we're on the case to find out what happens to it. We find out about the life cycle of rubbish, how to derive liquid fuels from waste and even how the future for fuel production could make your refuse a saleable commodity. Plus, in Kitchen Science Ben and Dave use a pair of tights (Dave's?) to produce recycled paper.

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 17:28 - Recycling Paper

    Take some of those old bits of paper and recycle them to make some new paper. It is far more fun than buying recycled paper in a shop.

  • 25:04 - Life Cycle of Rubbish

    Can we make materials that will end up as better rubbish? John Williams takes us through the problems of the refuse life cycle.

  • 34:03 - Rubbish Power

    One company is unusual in creating 'secondary liquid fuel' using only our liquid waste. Richard Kirkman tells us more...

  • 41:07 - The Sins of Waste into Syngas

    One option for using our waste for good is to turn it into 'Syngas' which can be used as fuel, Peter Jones explains how this is done...

  • 50:33 - Why aren't plastics biodegradeable?

    Why are plastics not biodegradable? Why won’t they breakdown when we chuck them in the ground?

  • 51:42 - How can newspaper survive in a tip for 25 years?

    I saw a programme in which they sank a bore hole into a rubbish dump over in America and within what they extracted there were pieces of newspaper that were 25 years old that remained readable. If newspaper can sit in the ground for 25 years, what is the prospect for a plastic cu...



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