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Engineering Materials

Update: Converting Plastics to Energy Could Boost US Reserves

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Converting plastics to energy
Ann R. Thryft   9/2/2014 1:27:14 PM
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shehan, as we've explained before, very few of these methods actually burn plastics. Even the few remaining ones that do are by law entirely closed-loop emission-contained systems. Today, this is a non-issue, at least in the US.
We can't give links anymore in comments, but I suggest you check out this article I did, and its comments, from two years ago:
Fuel From Plastic Nears Commercialization
It answers a lot of these questions.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Converting plastics to energy
Ann R. Thryft   9/2/2014 1:24:29 PM
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Pubudu, you're welcome. Glad you enjoyed it.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: CONVERTING PLASTICS
Ann R. Thryft   9/2/2014 1:23:05 PM
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bobjengr, glad this info is useful for you. As an FYI, none of the major methods used to convert sorted plastics to energy involves combustion. That's only used for general unsorted waste when plastics are contaminated or mixed--such as a toothbrush--and can't be sorted cost-effectively, or at all.

Pubudu
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Re: Converting plastics to energy
Pubudu   8/31/2014 11:35:38 PM
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Shehan yes it's true that government should look at those and also they should look at the future use of those also. Restriction of usage is a one option. 

shehan
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Re: Converting plastics to energy
shehan   8/31/2014 3:26:07 PM
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I hope the government is looking at the harmful emissions to the environment from using plastic to generate energy. 

William K.
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Re: Converting plastics to energy
William K.   8/30/2014 9:46:44 PM
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Breaking down the plastic polymers far enough to produce a usable fuel product isnot that hard a process, and it does not need nearly such tight controls as producing more complex products.And it can usually live with a fair amount of dirt and non plastic materials. So ot much sorting would be needed.

William K.
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Been there and "done that."
William K.   8/30/2014 9:43:25 PM
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Plastic to energy recovery is not that new, although there is presently a lot more plastc to recover. Andcollecting it from he oceans is proably not yet economically feasble. But way back in theearly sixties we invented a variation of the od wax-filled "buddy burner" simply by replacing the candle wax with waste polyethylene recovered from litter. It did consume a lot of plastic bag litter since each device needed about half a pound of plastic. Wewould melt the bags in an old coffe ca over a small wood fire and then pour it over the edgewise rolled up cardboard, just like the more raditional versions used candle wax. The difference was that our burners were hotter, and cheaper to make, and they would not melt and get messy in the hot sun.

 

Pubudu
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Re: Converting plastics to energy
Pubudu   8/30/2014 3:07:25 PM
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a2 its true but never forget the lesion from the history. 

Pubudu
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Re: Converting plastics to energy
Pubudu   8/30/2014 3:02:42 PM
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Ann thanks for the insightful article,
NadineJ, Its true that from the government should take the initiate for this problem.

bobjengr
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CONVERTING PLASTICS
bobjengr   8/28/2014 5:53:36 PM
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I'm in the same boat as Greg, I had no idea as to the energy content of plastics and quite frankly did not realize plastic components and structures could be considered combustible.  Just never crossed my mind.  I think recovery is a great idea and anytime we can take refuse and create energy we are ahead of the game.  This of course is provided the financials are proper and allow for recovery of investment dollars.  I am sending your article to a friend of mine.  He owns a company specializing in cogeneration of electricity using renewable biomass and collection of methane from landfills.  

 Great post and another example of "news we can use".  

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