Remember that amazing machine that turned plastic into oil? Well, a new company called Plastic 2 Oil is taking that idea and running with it.
They're not using the exact same technology. JBI, the company behind Plastic 2 Oil, has developed a catalyst that speeds up the process and reduces the associated waste. The plan is to "mine" landfills for plastic and use their proprietary technology to turn it into usable oil. According to Jo Borras at Gas 2.0:
JBI’s proprietary catalyst and unique process engineering enables JBI to capture nearly 90% of the hydrocarbon content of plastic, with any remaining residue or non usable substances (about 2%) removed during the normal course of operations. The remaining gasses contain small amounts of gasoline and diesel fuel, which are then condensed into liquid form and separated before being routed into temporary fuel tanks. The remaining gaseous “light fractions” – which include methane, ethane, butane and propane – exit the temporary fuel storage tank and are, themselves, compressed and stored for later use.
It only takes an hour to convert 1800 pounds of plastic into usable fuel. The company website says they're producing a liter of fuel for each kilogram of plastic, so that 1800 pounds of plastic equals about 216 gallons of gas.
JBI is teaming up with RockTenn, a packaging company, and essentially mining their all plastic landfills for raw materials.
Here's a quick video that gives you a peek into the process:
Pretty crazy, right? Of course, the best solution to our plastic problem is to just use less plastic, but in the meantime, this program has the potential to do a lot of good!