Updated 24 May, 2013, 7:53 pm IST
New process to turn plastic into fuel promises greener future
| by Karan Shah |
A new report states that Polygreen Technology and Resources, a company in the Philippines has developed a process to convert plastic into fuel. The company gets most of its plastic from Manila’s mountainous Payatas landfill where the poorest residents of the city live, collect and sell trash. The trash is collected at the Polygreen plant where it is converted to clean fuel by the process of pyrolysis. Polygreen Technology and resources inventor Jayme Navarro explains the process, "By pyrolysis, we can decompose plastic into diesel, gasoline and kerosene."
A greener future
According to Navarro, this is an extremely simple process. The plastic waste is placed on a conveyor belt where it is dried and shredded. Then it is put into an airtight thermal chamber for being decomposed. In the chamber, the granulated plastic melts into vapours that are distilled into a golden liquid chemically identical to regular fuel. However, the main difference between the fuel generated by this process and conventional fuel is that the former has fewer pollutants, and is much cleaner due to the low amount of sulphur present in plastic. This fuel is about 10 to 20 percent cheaper than regular fuel due to the abundant supply of plastic waste, and the extremely low production cost.
Currently, this fuel has been approved for industrial use and is being researched and tested for vehicles. The results so far have been very promising, which gives us hope of a greener, cleaner future. The factory is capable of manufacturing close to 1,600 litres of fuel daily from the two metric tonnes of waste that they are provided with. In Manila city, there are approximately 10 million people who produce about 6,000 tonnes of trash everyday, which is a whopping amount.
Plastic fuel technology isn’t new. However, its implementation needs a boost. If the technology gets some backing, we could see an effective solution to one of the long standing problems faced by mankind.
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