I had this post in draft form right before the earthquake/tsunami hit Japan, but it didn’t seem right to share this story just yet…
Have you ever wished that you could turn plastic into something useful, like oil? One Japanese inventor is making this idea a reality.
The man in the video below is very sweet and sincere about his hope to turn something good out of the pollution we can plastic and inspire hope.
This plastic-to-oil converting machine is very interesting. It averages about 3 hours for processing time and uses about 1Kw per hour (equivalent to 24.3 cents in cost), and it processes on average about 90% of the plastic product. So if it had 1000 grams of plastic, it would convert into about 900 grams of fuel. It would cost a little less than $1 to make a gallon of fuel. And if this is done on-site or locally it could be competitive in emissions to current recycling of plastic since the majority of our plastics are shipped long distances to China.
Here’s the math of it (done by a friend of mine): it will take 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of plastic to make 1 liter of oil (not gasoline) using about 1 kW of electricity. We pay about $0.06 to $0.10/ kW, which is cheap compared to other places like Japan, at $0.20 per kW. A barrel of oil today costs $110 (rising daily) and is 42 gallons or 159 liters.
With his $9500 machine, you can make a barrel of oil for about $30, with Japan ‘s electricity prices – or less than $15 with Portland electricity prices. It may be a while until this is a common technology, but one plant in Tigard, Oregon is converting plastic to crude oil.
Here’s the quick video:
What inventions do you think could help save the Earth?
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