Thursday, September 24, 2009

New life for plastic as fuel

A new company in Washington D.C., Envion, believes it has come up with a way to efficiently convert waste plastic into fuel by using carefully controlled infra-red energy. The $5-million plant was unveiled this morning.

The process that Envion has created is still tightly under wraps, but the plant includes a chemical reactor with internal agitators for mixing the liquid and heating elements that deliver the necessary infra-red energy. Since the infra-red energy is easily controlled, the process is very efficient. The plant is able to convert 82 percent of the waste into fuel and the resulting sludge is usable too.

The liquid can be mixed with other components to become gasoline or diesel. Envion has already signed up one company to use their recycled oil as motor fuel and is negotiating contracts with others.

The plant can recycle all types of plastic except for #1 PET. For each ton of waste the plant can produce three to five barrels of fuel, with each barrel costing about $10 to make

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