A recycling technology that turns plant based waste such as orange peel or coffee grounds into a plastic, has been developed by Prof James Clark of the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence at the University of York and his team. The technique relies on high-powered microwaves that can degrade the tough cellulose molecules of plant matter so that they release volatile gases that can be collected and distilled into a liquid product. Some of the chemicals released are bio-ethanol, pectol and cresol. A small demonstrator facility is being set up to show the novel recycling scheme can be scaled up in order to suit industrial applications. Volatile chemicals are released in the process, including d-limonene, which is responsible for the distinctive smell of citrus fruit. Researchers intend to take the technology to places where large amounts of plant waste are already collected, such as a power station that collect biomass for burning or a farming district that packs or processes foodstuffs.