Plastic wastes to liquid fuel?





Plastic wastes to liquid fuel?

I am very much inspired upon knowing that plastic wastes can be converted into liquid fuel. Here in the Philippines, the use of plastic bags and other related materials are nowadays banned because of some environmental issues.

Plastics are known as durable and degrade very slowly; the chemical bonds that make plastic so durable make it equally resistant to natural processes of degradation. Perhaps the biggest environmental threat from plastic comes from its raw material from which all plastics are made, these are termed as nurdles. They are tiny pre-plastic pellets that kill large numbers of fish and birds that mistake them for food.

Since plastics are usually hydrocarbon-based and can be broken down into liquid hydrocarbon, they can be converted into fuel. One kilogram of waste plastic produces a liter of hydrocarbon. However, burning plastic can release fumes and burning the plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) may create dioxin which are considered as toxic.

A Filipino inventor, Jayme Navarro, has made a great invention when he converted those plastic wastes into less sulfuric Diesel, Gasoline, & LPG. He is a commerce undergraduate who started to recycle plastic scraps into plastic twine, straws and sticks in Bacolod City during the 70s. He is so fond about plastics to the extent that he experimented these scraps until he was able to produce liquid hydrocarbons and continues finding ways to make these reusable materials to something useful. Only until December 2007 that he was able to found the best way to convert those plastic scraps into fuel.

The process
Plastics are cut into evenly sized pieces and are placed into an agglomeration chamber. The polymers are mixed with a catalyst when melted inside a feeding screw. Hydrocarbon gases are being produced after the melted plastics go to a specially designed pyrolysis chamber where depolymerization occurs. It then undergoes distillation, filtration and centrifuge processes. Light gases are then produced are purified, compressed and stored. The whole process is done entirely inside a vacuum; to prevent some resultant chemicals be released into the environment.



To produce 400 liters of fuel, only 5000 kilos of scrap plastics are neededl. That would mean a big business for scavengers who prey on scrap materials and have it sold to some buyers. Plastics can be found anywhere in the streets, establishments, institutions and even in our own backyards.

Navarro owns the Poly-Green Technology and Resources Inc. They are planning to put up a much bigger plant in Montalban besides the machine that processes his inventions in Bacolod City. The plant is estimated to produce around 5,000 liters of fuel a day.

Hope that Navarro inspires more Filipinos to be more inventive and innovative. Kudos to our fellowman who took time finding better ways to recycle scrap materials like plastics.

Please feel free to share your ideas here.

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About lamberto inquig, jr.

a simple and yet full of sense of humor guy who loves to travel and learn more knowledge in the ICT
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