19 Mar 2012:
U.S. Startup Develops Process
To Convert Plastic Waste into Oil
A U.S. startup company says it has developed a technology to convert plastic waste into a highly refined, low-sulphur oil
, an innovation company officials say could provide a domestic source of fuel and keep untold amounts of plastic out of landfills. Developed by New York-based JBI Inc., the so-called Plastic2Oil
system melts up to 4,000 pounds of plastic waste per hour, producing a liquid stream that is then vaporized in a process that rearranges the materials’ hydrocarbon chains, capturing about 86 percent of the hydrocarbon content of the plastics. Ultimately, the process produces a fuel that can be used in diesel engines, ship engines, and power plants. “When there have been attempts in the past to make fuel from plastic, it’s been low-quality, low-flashpoint, kind of sludgy,” John Bordynuik, the company’s founder, told NPR. “In this case, we’re making a very highly refined, consistent product that's within specifications of any standardized fuel.” The company says it has signed deals to work with companies that generate significant amounts of plastic waste.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Photographer Robert Wintner documents the exquisite beauty and biodiversity of Cuba’s coral reefs, which are largely intact thanks to stifled coastal development in the communist nation. View the gallery.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
The Warriors of Qiugang
, a Yale Environment 360
video, chronicles a Chinese village’s fight against a polluting chemical plant. It was nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
Watch the video.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.