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Recycle Styrofoam: Make Your Own Glue

written by: Laura Jean Karr•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 3/26/2012

Instead of making craft projects with your left over Styrofoam, you can melt it down and make your own super glue at home. Learn about the process here.

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    Recycle Styrofoam: Make Your Own Glue

    In the last article on Styrofoam (polystyrene foam), we looked at various ways in which people were recycling the at home. Here we are going to go over a process in which you can turn Styrofoam into a super glue at home through a discovery that comes from a Japanese researcher at Sony.

    Tsutomu Noguchi of the Sony Research Center found that the oil from orange peels would dissolve polystyrene. By using a product called Limoene, that contains .5% of the orange peel oil Noguchi found that the polystyrene would break down into a liquid form that created a very strong glue and can be used to create styrene pellets that go back into the production of more polystyrene. Currently, the Sony Corporation is the only major company to mass recycle polystyrene in this way through a full system that they call The Orange Network System. You can learn more about this process at: www.Sony.net

    In order to make Styrofoam glue at home you will need some items to get the job done properly. So, first gather the following:

    • Two or Three Styrofoam food containers
    • Limonene/Orange Oil *can be purchased at Citrus Depot
    • Large Metal Pot
    • Clean Jar or Jars with lids

    Once you have your items together, the first thing you'll want to do is get set up in a well ventilated area or go outside. The Limonene has a powerful orange scent and the Styrofoam can be odorous while breaking down.

    • Tear up or cut your Styrofoam into small pieces
    • Place your polystyrene into the metal pot
    • Start off with pouring 4oz of Limonene onto the Styrofoam

    The Styrofoam will then break down into a thin liquid form. Take the resulting liquid, which will amount to about 9oz and pour into a jar. Label it well as "Glue" before you put it away, so you and your household will know what it is later.

    Chose to use your glue wisely, as it can also act as a type of sealant. Once you use it, just like some of the better super glues it is there to stay and is very hard to get off.