Post in 'The Green Room' started by North of 60, Nov 15, 2010.
Start collecting. Take a look.
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This looks great,im wondering why are we not seeing this on a large scale, is it profitable? If it is we should see dozens of companies jumping on it. This could be a solution to the massive sea of plastic accumulating in the ocean north of Hawaii. I know it is possible to turn almost any garbage including auto tires, plastic and any organic material into gas and in turn make heat or electricity, many companies are already doing this. Either way it would go a long way to cleaning up the environment whatever the cost of conversion is.
Makes you hopeful for the future anyway.
I haven't had my coffee yet, but how does this cut CO2 levels?
Plus, plastic is made from oil, so converting it back and forth just seems like waisting energy.
Definitely a wonderful teaching tool though. Thanks North of 60.
I wonder how much electricity it takes to produce the oil? The temperatures at heating appeared to range between 660-790F. The plastic, if an otherwise unusable waste and landfill waste, might do better as an oil for fuel. I also wonder what "non-oil" chemicals might be in the oil, dioxins, etc., that burning would release into the atmosphere. What residue in the melt chamber, and how to clean, dispose of it? An interesting idea, particularly if the oil can be used directly without further processing.
The video said 1 kg of plastic yields 1 liter of oil, which weighs about 0.92 kg -- conversion efficiency looks pretty good.
I suspect this might not be done on a commercial scale because it is a less efficient/profitable use of plastic than being recycled for other uses. But then again, maybe it really is a simple breakthrough, and if home or neighborhood plastic to oil recycling made "cents$," what would the big guys do?
Most plastic is continualy recycled with a simmilar effiency. If you use the old stuff for oil, you must make the new stuff from oil. Sure it fits in the puzzle somewhere.
Couldn't they just burn plastic directly as an energy source in a lot of processes? That would save the conversion energy and any efficiency waste.
Burning plastic releases a black toxic smoke,but in this process it is not burned,rather heated under pressure and converted to oil without burning.
Trump- that's only if burned in the open, uncontrolled. Wet wood in a fire pit will smolder as well, but we know that wood can be used as a clean heat.
Heating the plastic requires energy to convert to oil- that's wasteful. Save the energy and combust the plastic with a modern burner: http://wasteplastictechnology.blogspot.com/2005/09/myth-on-burning-plastics.html
There was also a good article on it in Sci. Am.
THe small machine used for converting oil would be much cheaper to purchase and transport especially for developing countries.Also the end product is oil which is universally needed and can be stored easily unlike heat or electricity from burning plastic or anything else ,which must be used within a short time and is expensive to store. The amount of energy quoted was 1kw to make 1 Litre of oil or about 40 Cents a gallon. Sounds like a fair trade. Im sure it cost BP more than 40 cents a gallon to drill and pump oil from 5 miles below sea level in the gulf. The other benefit is cleaning up the worlds discarded plastic which cant be a bad thing.IMO
Seems to me that it would be smarter to just recycle more of this waste plastic into plastic... so less oil is used in producing virigin plastics.... thus freeing up oil to be used as fuel.
Developing countries don't really have the same plastic issues or excess that we do anyway (not by orders of magnitude), so it does far more good for us to think about what to do with our own plastic here- burn it in industrial processes, convert to electricity, use for central steam heat plants, etc. A simple gasification mechanism can be used to burn plastic- I don't see how it would be more expensive than this specialized device to purchase.
So if we say that we should concern ourselves with dealing with the plastic where it is most abundant- does it get us furthest to burn it or convert to oil?
Converting to oil is a net energy loss any way that you slice it. It's never 100% efficient, and you have to generate that heat to use it- that's energy loss. It's pure enthalpy/entropy type calculation- burning the plastic gives more energy directly as an energy source- to say otherwise violates the laws of thermodynamics.
Plastic can be stored too and would have to be dealt with anyway in a conversion scheme. Then you transport the oil. You lose energy all over the place. Just put a way to burn plastic where the energy is needed- power plants, industrial processes.
If you convert to oil then burn the oil- all you have done is add a step with inefficiency in the middle. It only throws energy away.
By the way- everything I've said is aimed at the total problem on a macro-level.
It's a cool device, the inventor seems like The Man, and I can see some great uses for this on a smaller scale and in certain circumstances. Mostly- if people had these- I bet they would use them. Most plastic waste is not getting recycled, I bet, so it would be a huge improvement to have one of these hooked up to oil tanks in houses- people would see the direct benefit which they don't see in recycling.
I think they already have a process to convert plastic waste to raw plastic pellet base materials from which they then make various materials. I have to disagree with the premise that developing countries do not have the volume of plastic waste as developed countries do ,the ones i have been to have enormous plastic waste problem probably cuz it cost money (which is always in short supply) to haul and dispose of waste.They just discard it everywhere and burn some of it in open piles creating more pollution. I do agree that converting waste plastic to new plastic products would be the shortest and least energy intensive route. Its always good to have choices when it come to recycling.
You might be surprised: http://veoliaes.com/resource.php?id=566
The US only recycles a small amount of its waste- the rest ends up in landfills. In less developed countries the waste doesn't get picked up or buried, so it's more visible, but they produce less. Many of those countries could not afford systems to convert plastic to oil, and don't have the electricity to run a system for it anyway. (Think about countries where a few cents a day in meds would save people, but they cannot afford even that).
That is a perfect idea. Hook this up to your tank, when the furnace kicks on to heat your house you can use some of that heat to turn the plastic back to oil which would deposit back in your tank. Anyone want to start a franchise? I would have SO much free oil if this thing ran on beer cans
Im familiar with one of these countries the philippines as i have many relatives there,just came back from a 6 week vacation there and they do have a huge waste plastic problem,use a lot of motor fuel,and also have an air pollution problem from open burning of garbage. No shortage of electricity there(also produced from oil). Converting waste plastic to ANY usable form would be very helpful there and also help the unemployment problem there.
Yep. It fits in the puzzle someplace. Could create a small revenue stream for the un-employed (collecting plastic), and a business oportunity for the local capitalist.
Sounds like a good use for micro-loans. Someone want to let Bill Gates about this, now that we have proven it's utility? If you get in touch with him, I have a few ideas of my own too.
FWIW, someone keeps posting this on an Investorshub.com forum I frequent. Here's a recent youtube they shared:
More discussion at the JBII forum there: http://investorshub.advfn.com/boards/board.aspx?board_id=15341
(Investorshub isn't my favorite forum really, lots of whiners and complainers there, but it's usually got a fair amount of information.)
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