Breaking Plastic into Constituent Elements

Damn! If this can be done on a large scale, with renewable energy to power it, without CO2 emmissions, or other toxic side-effects, it would be phenomenol!

“Plastic water bottles. Plastic toys. Plastic clamshell food packages. Plastic bags. Plastic furniture. Plastic cassettes.

Right now, most of it goes into landfills, much of it on pace to degrade in, oh, 400 years or so.

PolyFlow has a different solution, one that gets around the hassle of recycling. Its patented technology breaks down all manner of plastics into their base chemicals, which can then be processed back into plastic.

A demonstration plant has been erected on a weedy section of asphalt on the site of the former Brown-Graves Lumber Co. mill in Akron. PolyFlow executives have been showing off the technology to plastics industry officials and venture capitalists.

The mobile processor sits atop a flat-bed trailer. At one end is a large vessel, sheathed in shiny silver insulation. Inside go all types of plastic, even carpet samples and shredded tires. The oxygen is removed and the burners turned on, initiating a process called pyrolysis.

The plastic is essentially vaporized, after which it passes through a pipe to a condenser that converts it into a liquid the color of brown mustard. The noncondensable gas is flared off, but eventually will be used to fuel the plant.

The liquid can then be distilled into its raw components – chemicals like tolulene, benzene and styrene, the building blocks of plastics that would normally come from a barrel of crude oil. ”

Reprocessing Plastics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *