Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Waste Plastic Becomes Clean Burning Fuel

Waste Plastic. That is dirty waste plastic like Industrial and Agricultural plastics are clogging up landfills, being dumped in the oceans, and, exported from developed country's to underdeveloped country's. The consequences are as yet unmeasured however imaginable.

Scientific reports are now saying that in the North Atlantic micro plastics are confirmed as now being in the food chain from microbes, through to fish we eat. Scientific reports also alert that in areas of the Pacific Ocean micro plastic particles now exceed plankton by 6X.

The Koreans have found a way to pelletize dirty Agricultural waste plastics (like wood pellets) and there now is a burner capable of using them. In the USA Penn State University is also working on a "Plastofuel". Their pellet is much larger and they are working to convert the patented Korean burner so it can use the Americanized verison. Looks good as Penn State has announced they have a new research grant to go forward with emission testing, burn rates and other scientific data. They also say the burner can be fitted with a shredder and hopper thereby taking dirty silage and other agricultural waste plastics and burning it right on the Agricultural site. In particular Green Houses have benefited from this project.

It should also be noted that according to the RIO Accord developed countries MUST stop exporting their toxins and waste products to underdeveloped countries by 2006. India for one. Yes. Countries like the USA, Canada, Taiwan and many more do export a good deal of their waste to India. India landfills it or in the case of plastic are developing road surfaces with it. This does not dispose of the toxins but simply spreads it around. So the race is on to find alternative solutions. This exercise offers a way to keep plastics out of the landfill, solves the export waste problem and offers up alternative energy to boot.

Facts are that plastic burns with equal energy as that of petroleum and natural gas. It also can be done some 40 to 50% less so say the guru's. Lots of information at www.plasticulture.org
and the American Plastic Council. Dr. James Garthe at Penn State has a number of sites where he expands on the value of creating fuel pellets out of dirty plastic. Sounds like a plan. We obviously endorse it.