Monday, November 01, 2010

Waste Plastic to Oil


Mr. Ito's Machine

Recycling plastic, other than just melting into masses to mould as garden seats etc, has been a high-tech factory based operation. Turning plastic back into oil has been a highly technical and expensive process. We have mountains of plastic to dispose of every year. On a global scale the estimates suggest that 7% of the world's oil production is used to make plastic.


Japanese inventor and businessman, Mr. Akinori Ito, has developed a process so simple that it can be fully realised in a machine small enough to fit on top of your kitchen table. What is even more important, is that the process is safe, releasing no toxic gasses. The final residue can be safely disposed of.

In various forums and articles concerns have been expressed about the safety of Mt. Ito’s process. General worries about pollution and toxic residue from the process have been addressed by the Blest Company. They say that, if the recommended plastics are fed into the machine, polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene PP, PE,  PS plastics, that there is no toxic substance released. And, as already mentioned, any residue can be disposed of with regular rubbish. The company also state that while methane, ethane, propane and butane gasses are released during the process, the machine has been fitted with an off-gas filter. The filter effectively degrades the gases into water and carbon.

Mr. Ito’s machine is called the Blest Machine. The process is basically a controlled heat process. You place the plastic waste in a large sealed pressure cooker type of container. After switch-on the temperature begins to rise melting the plastic. The plastic firsts becomes liquid, and eventually, as the temperature further rises, it becomes a gas. The gas is filtered through water, is cooled and again forms a liquid. This time the liquid is a flammable oil. One Kilogram of plastic rubbish will produce 1 Litre of usable oil.

This oil is immediately usable for certain purposes, for instance it can be burned in just a slightly modified central heating furnace.

In fact, this was the essence of my suggestion to the Kerry County Council; to recycle the plastic and heat the County Buildings with the oil produced. The system would probably pay for itself in time. But even if it didn’t, it would still be a worthwhile exercise, simply because we would not be exporting the problem.

The oils produced by Mr Ito’s machines can be further refined into petrol, kerosene and diesel and directly used in cars and other transport vehicles.

Cost of the table top machine is around €6500.  This is little better than a demonstration / assessment machine.

 The larger machine the B120 has a capacity of 5Kgs per hour or 5 litres of oil output per hour or 120 litres per 24h day. A cycle uses 4Kw/h of electricity. That would work out at around 10 cents per litre electricity costs.


1 comment:

Heather said...

Out of curiosity, has the Kerry County Council replied?

I think this idea is sound and feasable. I sincerely hope something comes of it.