Improving Recycling, Tracking Mercury and Analyzing Kelp: A Sample of Eco-Friendly Research Featured on NIST Social Media

The Behavior of Polymers in Our Recycled Plastics

Not all plastics are the same, and they don’t all blend together well during recycling. At NIST, researchers are looking for ways to make recycled plastic stronger and more valuable. It’s all about the chemistry.

This video shows what happens when mixed plastics melt and then crystallize during the recycling process. The various colors show the complex dance of the polymers — the building blocks of the plastic — as they line up and crystallize. When they do not align properly, the recycled plastic becomes brittle. Credit: K. Migler/NIST
How do we go from a throwaway economy to one where we minimize waste, prevent greenhouse gas emissions, and keep resources in the economy for as long as possible? With a circular economy. Learn more in this animation. For more information go to: https://www.nist.gov/circular-economy

Tracking Methylmercury, a Toxic Substance in Natural Waters

A lake surrounded by trees reflects a blue sky and clouds.
Mercury enters the atmosphere via industrial processes and falls with the rain into bodies of water. Credit: J. Stoughton/NIST

Harvesting What’s Under the Sea for the Dietary Supplement Industry and Environmental Conservation

Yellowish kelp grows under the surface of the water, with sunlight shining through.
Kelp removes carbon from seawater through photosynthesis just like plants on the ground. Credit: Kichigin/Shutterstock
Riley Wilson poses smiling for a picture outdoors.

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National Institute of Standards and Technology

National Institute of Standards and Technology

NIST promotes U.S. innovation by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.