Self-disposing materials give hope for a trash-free future

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Waste disposal not only pollutes in itself, it also consumes a great deal of energy. This is true also for recycling, where often a lot of heat energy is required to break down waste into its reusable parts. "So far, most man-made substances are chemically very stable: to decompose them back into their components, one has to spend a lot of energy," explains Job Boekhoven, professor of Supramolecular Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Now a team of chemists, physicists and engineers led by Job Boekhoven is working on materials that will simply disappear after use. They will…

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