Sarah Parsons

Waste Combustor Turns Plastic into Clean Energy

by , 05/11/10

Yiannis Levendis, Northeastern University, plastic to energy, waste combustor, pyrolysis, converting plastic to fuel, making energy from plastic, plastic waste combustor, renewable energy

Just think about all the plastic people use every single day–bottles, Tupperware, packaging–the list goes on and on. Now imagine if all that plastic were diverted from the recycling plant or landfill and used to create clean, renewable energy. That’s exactly the vision that prompted Yiannis Levendis and his team of Northeastern University students to create their new, double-tank waste combustor. The combustor prototype converts plastic waste into energy without creating harmful emissions.

Yiannis Levendis, Northeastern University, plastic to energy, waste combustor, pyrolysis, converting plastic to fuel, making energy from plastic, plastic waste combustor, renewable energy

Plastic is first processed in an upper tank, which converts the material into gas through a process called pyrolysis. Then, the gas moves to the lower tank, where it’s burned with oxidants. That burning generates heat and steam, which drive combustion and generate electric power. While other waste-to-fuel generators have been developed, Levendis says his machine has the added bonus of not producing harmful emissions.

The waste combustor is currently still in prototype phase, but Levendis is dreaming big: Eventually, he envisions scaling up this concept to juice a large power plant. A connected plastic recycling center could provide a constant stream of fuel.

Levendis calculates that if all recycled plastics in America were converted to energy, it could replace 462 million gallons of petroleum! And that’s not factoring in plastics that aren’t recycled and plastics from other countries.

Via Physorg

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5 Comments

  1. H.Wren Franco October 9, 2013 at 5:45 am

    I WOULD LIKE TO NOW MORE ABOUT MAKING BRICKS FROM WASTE AND GARBAGE WITHOUT ANY HARMFUL EMISSIONS AND POLLUTIONS.

  2. Rambharen1981 March 26, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Pretty awesome!! Now to make it a household item!!!

  3. Dutch Incinerator "Cath... October 20, 2010 at 12:01 am

    [...] has been contracted by the Dutch Board of Waste and energy supplier KARA/Noveren to design a new waste-to-power incineration line in Roskilde, Denmark. The contract was won by van Egeraat in a competition in 2008, where he [...]

  4. amritpal singh June 8, 2010 at 2:26 am

    sir Please send quation of machinery & price

  5. M. Vargas May 11, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    This is GREAT news!!!!!

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