We live in the Age of Plastic – producing more plastic in the last ten years than we did in the whole of the last century … and as plastics takes 100s of years to degrade so every single piece we have not recycled, still exists. How do you get rid of non-recyclable plastics? Turn them into cleaner, more efficient fuel.
Technology company Cynar is giving these waste plastics one more life by turning them into synthetic fuel at their plant in Portlaoise, Ireland. Using a process called pyrolysis, plastics are heated in an oxygen-free environment to prevent them from burning, and then broken into their component hydrocarbons to create the equivalent of a petroleum distillate. This can then be separated into different fuels. The end products are cleaner, lower in sulphur and in the case of the diesel, higher quality than regular diesel fuel. Cynar is currently able to produce 19,000 litres of fuel from 20 tonnes of waste plastic. The company plans to set up more plants across the UK, and with 15 million tonnes of plastics still going into landfill in Europe every year, they have plenty of raw materials at their disposal.
Full details on Earthrise