If one could find a way to get rid of plastic wastes, much of the waste management issues faced all over the world could be resolved.
It would be even better if the plastic could be put to some other use – rather than just polluting the environment.
Now it looks like a mechanical engineer based in Hyderabad can!
According to Deccan Chronicle, Satish Kumar has been turning plastic into fuel since 2016 and has so far cleared 50 tonnes of plastic in his unit.
Using ‘end of life’ plastics, that can’t be recycled anymore, the man has produced synthetic fuels like diesel, aviation fuel, and petrol.
And how does he do that?
Through a three-step reverse engineering process called plastic pyrolysis – under which the plastic is first heated indirectly in a vacuum environment and then goes through the process of depolymerization, gasification and finally, condensation.
According to Satish, close to 500 kg of non-recyclable plastic can produce about 400 liters of fuel.
The synthetic fuels that are manufactured as a result of the process are combustible fluids bearing resemblance to petrol but aren’t exactly the same.
“It’s a simple process which requires no water and doesn’t release wastewater. Neither does it pollute the air as the process happens in a vacuum,” he said.
The advantage of the fuel is that it does not produce sulfur or nitrate emissions, thus ensuring safe combustion. Also, with the exception of PVC and PET plastics, all types can be put into effect for the making the fuel and does not have to be segregated for the process.
Using plastics mostly collected by NGOs and from companies producing mass quantities of plastic waste, Satish sells the fuel at about ₹50 per liter to local industries. Even a bakery uses this fuel for its broiler.
As of now, the viability of using the fuel in automobiles is pending verification from RTC who has asked the company for feasibility reports.