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LEWISBURG, Pa. — When you look around the farms in central Pennsylvania, you see lots and lots of plastic. "It really helps when you use plastic mulch. You can really minimize water consumption, which can be really important. Then again, you have this plastic leftover, so what do see here now you do with it?" That's the question Deborah Sills, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Bucknell University and researchers from Cornell and from the country of Israel, are trying to answer. Prof. Sills and the research team were awarded a $300,000 grant from the US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) to find a method to turn agricultural plastic into liquid fuel. "I would say we're down-cycling. You can down-cycle plastic into some kind of crude oil, which would then need to be upgraded if it would be something you would put in your car without trashing your car," Prof. Sills said. The research team is working on two different thermochemical processes that turn the agricultural plastic into liquid fuel.

[Water Consumption]