Although glass is recyclable, the recycling process is generally limited to large pieces that can be easily sorted by color. Because it’s not worth the effort to sort smaller fragments, they tend to simply be discarded. A new process, however, can convert them into a useful substance.
The proprietary technique was developed by PhD candidate Rhys Pirie and Prof. Damien Batstone, both of Australia’s University of Queensland. It incorporates what is described as “a chemical that most people would know as drain cleaner,” which is used to dissolve miscellaneous glass fragments into liquid silicate.