What If We Turned Plastic Into Fuel: Turning Waste Into Power

What If We Turned Plastic Into Fuel

Hey, are you thirsty?

Let's say you've got two bottles of water in front of you. One is a plastic bottle, the other a reusable one. You already know that you should probably pick the reusable one.

It takes less than a minute to wash it. While the plastic bottle could take 500 years to decompose. Plastic production like for our bottle on the left is predicted to keep skyrocketing in the next 10 years. And our planet is going to pay the price. Turning Waste Into Power

But with all that plastic being made, is it possible that we could do some good with it? What if we were to use all that plastic and convert it into fuel? Could our cars run on fuel created from plastic? Could we live in plastic fueled homes?

How can we convert class Sick into fuel?

And could there be a downside?

Turning Waste Into Power

This is what if. And here's what would happen if we turned plastic into fuel. Plastic hit the scene in 1869 when inventor john Wesley Hyatt offered the idea as an alternative to ivory. Why? Well, billiards were all the rage back then. And the suppliers couldn't keep up with the demand for ivory to make the balls.

So you could say the invention of plastic helped out environmentally, mostly for our elephant friends. But since then, plastic manufacturing has doubled every 15 years and it continues to do so. This puts plastic at the top of almost all man-made materials.

So how could we turn all that plastic into fuel? We may have a couple of options, the most popular being the Pyro This method, pyrolysis creates energy by decomposing organic materials by heating them up between 400 and 650 degrees.

This converts the materials into fuels heat or electricity. Now, let's combine this with something called cold plasma. cold plasma produces high energy electrons, which are especially good at breaking down the chemical bonds found in plastics.

So if you were to marry these two, you could take the plastics we treat as waste and convert them into methane, hydrogen, and ethylene. Both hydrogen and methane can be used as Clean Fuels since their output of harmful compounds is minimal.

This process would allow us to give new life to all this plastic waste, converting it into a valuable resource and making it available to industry for reuse.

But even if we were able to pull it off, would it do any good of course to a study by the brand School of environmental science and management since we began mass-producing plastic about 60 years ago, it's estimated that over 8 billion tons of it are now inhabiting the earth.

Of that more than 6 billion tons of it is plastic waste. Up to the year 2015, less than 10% of it had been recycled, and nearly 80% of it is either in landfills or polluting the environment as litter. By using plastic for fuel, we would be able to transform it into something other than just a base for products destined to pollute our land and ocean.

And it's good for more than just the environment. The American chemistry council reports that plastic to fuel facilities in the US could create about 39,000 jobs and $9 billion in economic benefits.

How's that for some inspiration? 
But not everyone is on the plastic for fuel bandwagon. Could there be a downside?

One of the primary objections some environmentalists have is that the industry is deceiving people. Their concern is that this is not a form of recycling. Since the plastics can only be used once. And when they're processed into fuel, they become part of the problem, not the solution.

They also fear that plastic to fuel is causing a false sense of security when we really should be showing extreme concern about the damage being done to our environment daily. So, after all that, could we pull it off?

Well, plastic to fuel doesn't produce the same amount of energy as petroleum, yet, will need to continue building and perfecting the plastic to fuel process in a world fueled by money and sources like petroleum being more and more expensive to produce fuel source that's relatively cheap might be what helps to win industries over to adopting this idea.

But plastic to fuel is only one of the ideas for countering the environmental extremes we're now facing. What else could we create from a renewable source? Could we create something like food from thin air? Well, that's a story for another What if

What If We Turned Plastic Into Fuel: Turning Waste Into Power What If We Turned Plastic Into Fuel: Turning Waste Into Power Reviewed by Mahi Uddin on December 11, 2019 Rating: 5

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