By Amy Kraft
Posting in Technology
A Filipino inventor puts plastic trash to good use by turning it into gasoline, diesel and kerosene.
Plastic waste is a problem all over the world. And it is especially troubling in the Philippines where plastic waste piles up in Manila’s Payal landfill, unable to decompose. But one inventor thinks he might have found the answer to this chronic problem.
Jayme Navarro, founder of Poly-Green Technology and Resources is converting plastic waste into fuel through a process known as Pyrolysis.
ECO-Tech explains how it works:
"Pyrolysis is a fairly simple process, it starts by drying plastics to be processed. They are then shredded into smaller pieces, and heated in a thermal chamber. The melted plastic is continually heated until it boils and produce vapors. The vapor is passed into cooling pipes and distilled into a liquid, which is chemically identical to regular fuel."
And one of the great benefits of converting plastic to fuel is that the fuel burns cleaner because of a low sulfur content. Navarro estimates that the fuel will be 10-20 percent cheaper because of the low production costs since the raw material is available in such large quantities.
The method has already been approved for industrial use and it is being tested for use in vehicles.
Reuters reporter Elly Park says: “While plastic fuel technology isn’t anything new, Navarro believes that an industrial scale version of his technology can not only help drivers on the road, but help the country dig itself out of its trash problem.”
Photo via flickr/JMacPherson
Jul 21, 2012
it still is a good way to get rid of plastic and other organic waste. but at what cost of energy is the problem. How much energy the process will need? will it be cost efficient? What is the cost to benefit ratio? Perhaps one day oil prices will be so high that it will make sense. since "plastic" is a generic term for a variety of materials of various chemical composition, what are the byproducts of the process? Especially liquids & gases.
Some of you seem to have missed the point. It isn't so much as an alternative fuel but a way to eliminate non-biodegradable trash. Of course it isn't a sustainable fuel source. That doesn't make it any less of a valid idea.
The idea of turning trash (or other organic waste products) into oil has been around for a long time. Just google "trash into oil". There have even been a couple of pilot plants built in the US. So far, nothing has come of it. It's just not competitive. That said, it still is a good way to get rid of plastic and other organic waste. Perhaps one day oil prices will be so high that it will make sense. However, just remember that the world does not nearly make enough plastics to substitute for all our fuel. After all, the majority of the oil we drill goes into fuel, not plastics, and you can't get back more petroleum products than you put into plastics in the first place (even taking into account that plastics are more complex organics than fuels). Once we "burn" through all the plastic waste we've accumulated over the last century, it won't sustain the world's needs for fuel.
It seems to be good idea but at what cost of energy is the problem. How much energy the process will need? will it be cost efficient? What is the cost to benefit ratio?
I wonder about the efficiency of this proposal & other ones that involve burning waste, like biomass. In other words, how much energy goes into shredding & heating the plastic vs how much energy is in the fuel produced by the process? And since "plastic" is a generic term for a variety of materials of various chemical composition, what are the byproducts of the process? Especially liquids & gases.
Maybe this process could be used to power the A-Whale skimmer that was unable to pick up oil from the Deep Horizon spill. Send it to the Great Grabage patch and wherever there is a lot of floating plastic!
Control is power and that is what the big boys love more than life itself. Absolute power. Who are these 'big boys' ? heck if I know.. There's evidence they exist in one form or another.
...and I'll say it again: It's a great idea that is do-able (it's now been done a number of times) and solves two problems at once. If only the "powers that be" -- whoever they are -- will get behind this. On my part, I think this guy in the Phillipines will be more successful than those who are trying it in the U.S., where I live. "The powers that be" in the U.S. are more interested in keeping the status quo. Not only would they not back this technology, they would do whatever they could to block it since it takes the control out of their hands. And when it comes to energy, control is money.
various ethylenes and similar compounds (plastic) begs the question: What do they mean by regular fuel? All these different molecular chains will release the same substance which is exactly the same as regular fuel? I doubt that.