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Author Topic: plastics to fuel  (Read 648 times)

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Offline mike_belben

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plastics to fuel
« on: March 23, 2021, 03:02:54 PM »
first time ive ever heard of it, which is pretty surprising since i've made a few thousand gallons of waste vegetable oil into fuel.  and its not some dreamers talking about wood gasifiers hanging off bumpers going down the interstate or some crazy thing like that.. theres a plant in indiana that sells to major fuel refineries.  

why isnt anyone talking about this?


Isaiah 48:10

Offline PoginyHill

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2021, 03:33:36 PM »
Guess it makes sense. Petroleum is a primary ingredient in plastic. Sort of reversing the process...?
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Offline peakbagger

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2021, 04:03:08 PM »
There is plant up near me that claims to be making it. My guess is the cost to make the fuel is more than they can sell if for. The people who own the plant clamed that they would be taking plastic that normally goes into landfills and in my area the commercial landfills are over $100 a ton. 

I am curious also why the government does mandate a blend like ethanol but then again its not a big farm subsidy in disguise.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2021, 06:07:18 PM »
I could only speculate. 
Isaiah 48:10

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2021, 06:50:09 PM »
The labor of separating and cleaning the plastic is more than the value of the finished diesel.

During the siege on Aleppo this is how they kept needed equipment running.  There is also a small island in the Caribbean that gets their electricity from a generator power on island made diesel from garbage and plastic that washes up on shore.

It looks like it can be done at home pretty easily.  It looks like it is nothing more than distilling plastic in a low o2 environment.

Offline Paul_H

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2021, 07:52:44 PM »
There are many vids on this process from some hippy on a tropical island to some elaborate home made systems.much the same as the gasification of wood or coal only it's condensed.
eg  tregar  meste  p  Tulla, for  ho  var  krulla  i  ulla.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2021, 08:19:10 PM »
Yeah i saw the hippy in nicaragua
Isaiah 48:10

Offline mike_belben

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2021, 06:40:17 AM »
The labor of separating and cleaning the plastic is more than the value of the finished diesel.
Certainly the reason why the free market has not rushed in to do a job that truly needs doing.  I love junk but i despise trash.



I would much prefer that some pork barrel subsidy was pulled from wherever in order to prop up national plastic distilling programs.  Like how cans and cardboard have slight value in the northeast and bums round it up.  If plastics were redeemed by the pound there would be a lot less of it blowing across our nation. When your home looks like trash people treat it that way.



Perhaps the rising diesel price will make plastic to fuel more conceivable. Pump prices completely dominate the demand for waste vegetable oil.  Maybe 1 in 20 grease burners do it for idealogical reasons.  The other 19 are economical.  At $4 a gallon people will steal your filthy grease out behind the restaraunt and finding any free is hard to do. At $2 pump diesel its a different tune.
Isaiah 48:10

Offline florida

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2021, 11:55:35 AM »
Plastic recycling has high costs and low value. Of the 7 plastics commonly used only 3 are recycled and only 2 have any value at all, the rest are just trash.  But, they all have to be sorted which is one of the things that make it expensive to recycle. This video highlights a business set up to mine government subsidies, not plastic. If you notice they leave out where their raw materials, plastic, come from because they don't pay for it! The local garage companies collect and sort it for them so most of the work is done before they get it. Plastic is fuel, although each bottle has very low energy in it,  and the most economical and ecological use of it is to burn it as fuel where it's collected, with no sorting, processing,  no packaging, no hauling, and low cost. The energy can and is used to run the landfill.
I'll also point out that ocean waste doesn't come from the US, we contribute about 1% while almost all the rest comes from Asia. Turning our soda bottles into oil would do nothing to clean up the oceans.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2021, 03:54:33 PM »
Thanks for the insight.  Can you point me to any good info on which plastic is which?
Isaiah 48:10

Offline Ianab

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2021, 04:36:33 PM »
Thanks for the insight.  Can you point me to any good info on which plastic is which?
This is a local guide to the plastics types. Most plastic containers will have the recycle symbol with a number in it. 
http://www.recycle.co.nz/edit/ftpuploads/157090999_Plastics%20Recycling%20Guide%20by%20Type.pdf
Type 1 and 2 ( PET and HDPE) are the easiest to recycle, and probably the most common in food / drink packaging. 
They also collect type 5 (Polypropylene).
The others aren't collected here as they are more difficult to recycle and there is currently no market for them. They would be better off used as fuel in a power station. 
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Offline peakbagger

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2021, 05:03:53 PM »
The absolute worst plastic is PVC. Its not recyclable and unless its burned in very specialized waste incinerator it form Dioxin.A couple of locals with burn barrel can put out more Dioxins than a large industrial incinerator.

I have run into several morons that burn it all in their OWB. :( Talk about crapping in their water supply. 

Offline curved-wood

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2021, 05:44:02 PM »
My son works for Enerkem, a company that is using the whole garbage bag of mixed stuff to produce ethanol and  methanol.  It seems that producing fuel from only plastic is the easiest and well known. I had even seen on Youtube some small scale set up to convert plastic to fuel. At the price of the gas at the pump they are not competitive if they have the only revenues of the fuel; but when the cities are paying good money to get rid of their garbage and you add up the price of the finish fuel that is another story. Shell had invested good money in their business. 

Offline Don P

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2021, 07:02:00 PM »
Mike, take a look at the precious plastic website. It's been awhile since I looked but it was aimed at bootstrap enterprises recycling plastic and did have a good section on the various types. 

One problem is when packaging has a mix of multiple types.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2021, 09:59:06 PM »
   I don't know how far along they have gotten with it but I was working a project with Waste Management (The other WM) as the client and in 2000 they had 15 plants up and down the east coast from Fla to NH and one in Seattle where they took in municipal garbage and incinerated it and used the heat to fire boilers making electricity. It was a pretty tight margin and they had to get a certain tipping fee from the city and a certain price per kilowatt for the electricity to make it cost effective. The margin was so tight I think the recycle income from lead, aluminum, steel and glass might have determined if they actually made a profit or just broke even. 
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: plastics to fuel
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2021, 10:13:03 PM »
Im fairly certain WM had one such operation at bondi's island in springfield mass, and when scrap dropped they did quit, if im not mistaken.
Isaiah 48:10


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