What if we could turn all the plastic waste we create on a daily basis into fuel to power our cars? A Washington, DC-based company called Envion claims it can do just that with a process that turns plastic into an oil-like fuel for just $10 per barrel. According to Envion, the resulting fuel can be blended with other components and used as either gasoline or diesel.
Envion makes its plastic-to-oil conversion by heating up plastic to a pre-set temperature using infra-red energy. The process removes hydrocarbons without the use of a catalyst, resulting in a net gain of captured energy–82% of all material that goes in is transformed into fuel. In the past, attempts to turn plastic into fuel have resulted in a net loss of energy.
Each Envion machine can process up to 10,000 tons of plastic waste each year (including bottle caps) and produce three to five barrels of fuel per ton with a total electricity cost of 7 to 12 cents per gallon.
We’ll find out soon whether Envion’s process works as well as the company claims — the $5 million inaugural plastic-to-fuel plant opened today in Washington, DC, and an undisclosed company has already agreed to buy Envion’s product to blend into vehicle fuel.
Via Green Inc.