Plastofuel™ for the future
This is interesting: Since plastics and resin based materials require such a large amount of crude oil to be manufactured, it only makes sense that these products can then be turned around for a similar use as crude oil, energy production. Where crude oil has made up a good amount of fuel for energy (along with coal, wind, solar, water, etc.), wouldn’t it be great if instead of plastics sitting in a land fill for eons, all these little bits can be used for a clean burning energy source? Well the folks over at Penn State University have developed ways to do this very thing. PSU researcher James Garthe came up with the concept of Plastofuel back in 1994. Essentially they have created a way to turn un-recycled plastics into a byproduct that can be used in what they call Eco-Clean burners to produce clean energy. It produces lower emissions than fuel oil while still producing the same amount of energy. The thermoplastic fuel source is cleaner in that it is burned at 2000˚F; this affectively eliminates harmful black smoke emissions often found when burning plastics at lower temperatures. Although it has been put to the test and has proven to be an excellent source of energy, the costs for commercialization are still yet unconfirmed and there is plenty more developing to be done.
Read about it here: http://extension.psu.edu/natural-resources/energy/waste-to-energy/resources/waste-plastics-fuel
And more information here!: http://www.tpsalliance.org/10_PDFs/agenda/5B-Garthe-PlastofuelAutomating--2010.pdf