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Making diamonds from plastic is now possible

It all starts with the desire of researchers to understand the phenomena that occur on Neptune and Uranus. During an experiment, nanodiamonds were formed… from plastic.

According Futura Sciencesan international team of researchers succeeded in turn bottle plastic into diamonds. However, this experience should not call into question the value of real diamonds.

An unexpected result

As strange as it may seem to us, this experiment was absolutely not intended to make diamonds, but to understand phenomena that would occur onUranus and Neptune, blue planets.The team of scientists, under the direction of researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf in Germany, began their experiment based on the theory of diamond showers on these two planets.

The extreme conditions of these two planets would be at the origin of the creation of these diamonds. The team then decided to recreate what is happening on these two stars, in the laboratory. The creation of real diamonds was then unexpected. It is not uncommon for researchers to make unexpected discoveries during scientific experiments.

A complicated process

To reproduce this, the researchers used a PET film, a plastic used to make bottles, and which has the particularity of having the same characteristics as the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune: same composition and similar oxygen.

Then, to reproduce the conditions of the planets, the researchers pointed a laser beam at the plastic, so as to make it reach 6,000 degrees and an extreme level of pressure. This allowed the nanodiamonds to form.

This discovery could facilitate the future creation of these nanodiamonds, these small precious stones used to manufacture abrasives or even medical contrast products. The real diamonds will stay always so expensive, because this experience does not make it possible to create similar ones.