Sunday, May 16, 2010

What Do You Do with Non-Biodegradable Plastics?

If you are smart, you will turn the plastics into useful fuel.
Northeastern University student researchers have come up with an apparatus to convert plastic waste into clean energy without releasing harmful emissions.

...Self-sustainability is the key to the double-tank combustor design. Plastic waste is first processed in an upper tank through pyrolysis, which converts solid plastic into gas. Next, the gas flows to a lower tank, where it is burned with oxidants to generate heat and steam. The heat sustains the combustor while the steam can be used to generate electric power.

"The prototype can be scaled up to drive a large power plant, which could connect to a plastic recycling center for a constant flow of fuel," said David Laskowski, an undergraduate student working on the team.evendis, who has pursued research on the combustion of plastics and other post-consumer wastes for the past 20 years, is currently focusing on the concept of vaporizing solid plastic waste, which would reduce levels of harmful emissions during the combustion process.

Waste plastics are too valuable to be thrown into a landfill. A resourceful society would have hundreds of valid and economic uses for every type of garbage, but modern societies are not particularly resourceful.

Gasification is another approach to converting garbage or waste to energy and fuel. Oil rich Norway is promoting new gasification technology for wood, as it looks beyond its current fossil fuel dependency.



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