Researchers from the Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun have invented a technology that can convert plastic waste into high-grade petrol, diesel or aromatics. What’s more, this new fuel will cost Rs.30 to Rs.40 per litre! Read along to know more about the technology that can revolutionize the fuel that we use in our country!
India will soon become one of the very few countries in the world to convert plastic waste into high-grade petrol and diesel. This technology, developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun, has catapulted India into the league of Germany, Japan and the US – the only other countries to have access to this green technology at present.
Rising petrol and diesel prices has been everyone’s misery. And, they are only expected to rise in the future with the increasing number of private vehicles. Apart from that, huge piles of non-biodegradable waste is another issue we have been struggling with for a long time. But, thanks to this incredible development in the country, both the issues will be getting addressed at the same time.
A combination of suitable catalysts will convert plastic into gasoline, diesel or aromatics. Apart from that, the technology will also produce LPG as a by-product.
According to IIP Director M.O. Garg, the diesel produced through this technology will be of high quality due to almost nil sulphur content. This high-quality fuel meets Euro-III standards and will allow vehicles to run for at least two kilometres more per litre as compared to regular fuel. The newly developed fuel can also be mixed with ordinary fuel and is believed to have better lubricity and combustion quality than regular low-sulfur fuel.
The current prices of petrol range between Rs.70 to Rs.80 per litre. The team from IIP claims that this new fuel will cost Rs.30 to Rs.40 per litre, inclusive of the cost of plant, operations, manpower and land.
The huge amount of waste generated in the country is one of the reasons behind the low cost of the fuel, which would be ideal for end users like state road transport corporations, defence establishment and railways.
“We have applied for a patent. We developed this after nearly a decade of intensive research and are now planning to commercialise the technology although we are still engaged in the process of engineering to design heavy machinery and processes,” Garg said.
A similar discovery some time back by two Indian scientists from Orissa had caught the media attention. The technology involved raising the temperature of the plastic waste to between 400-500 degrees Celsius over a clay mineral containing aluminium and silicon to produce carbon rich molecules. They are still looking for sponsors and investors to commercialize this idea.
Handling of plastic waste has been a constant challenge in the country. As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India generates 56 lakh tonnes of plastic waste every year. If the recently developed technology by IIP is commercially implemented in a proper manner, it can address the country’s problem of rising hazardous waste to a great extent.