Web Desk: Plastic is one of the worst things. It is contributing a lot to the pollution, as it is not biodegradable.
Researchers are trying to find some ways to deal with it. Their aim is to reduce plastic usage, and clean up what we’ve already dumped into the ocean.
Christofer Costes says he’s developed a machine capable of breaking down plastic into a liquid fuel. ‘Chrysalis’, as it’s called, feeds bits of plastic into a 450-degrees-Celsius reactor to pyrolise it, which is a way of decomposing the plastic with high heat. The machine churns out a liquid through this process that’s 65 percent diesel, that Costes says can be used for generators or boat motors, 18 percent petrol usable for heating or powering lamps, 10 percent gas for heating, and 7 percent carbon for crayons or colorants.
“This (pyrolising) breaks up the plastic molecules and transforms them into lighter hydrocarbons,” Costes says. “They go up into the distillation tower, and separate into diesel, petrol and at the top of the tower, there is gas, which is stored in a reservoir.”
Costes worked with the environmental organisation Earth Wake in order to develop the Chrysalis, and they hope to develop the prototype into a commercial device priced at about 50,000 euros.
Currently, the machine can transform up to 10 tonnes of plastic into fuel per month, the team says. One kilo of plastic delivers a litre of liquid fuel, which could be a major boon to developing countries, where plastic and expensive fuel prices are both real problems.
They also hope to build a larger version of the machine by mid-2019, capable of churning out 40 litres of fuel per hour. “We want the model to be economically sustainable so that it becomes viable, and can be duplicated more and more as time goes on,” said Francois Danel from Earth Wake.