Researchers Convert Plastic Waste into Jet Fuel and Diesel Fuel

conversion of plastic waste to fuel

A research group at the Washington State University has found a new, much more efficient and safe way to convert plastic waste into fuel.

With the world’s population increasing on a daily basis, more and more cheap plastic is produced, used and dumped to pollute the environment. Being able to safely convert plastic waste into useful fuel is good news for mankind. Even the gases produced during the conversion are also useful.

At the Washington State University, the research team led by Dr. Hanwu Lei were able to produce jet fuel and diesel fuel from plastic. In the experiment, the team transform plastic from water bottles, plastic bags and milk bags with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) into (small) granules.

In a process known as catalytic pyrolysis of plastic, the plastic granules were placed over activated carbon in a facile tube reactor at high temperature. The carbon served as a catalyst. Since plastic is a hard product to break, the carbon helps to speed up the process and break the chemical bonds present.

In the end, the researchers were able to arrive at a mixture of Jet fuel and Diesel fuel. This mixture can then be separated to get jet fuel.

Many are concerned about water, air or noise pollution but pay little or no attention to what really causes them. Today plastic pollution is a big topic to environmentalists worldwide. It can cause land, water and air pollution.

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In a bid to keep the environment clean, a lot of people have become more comfortable dumping plastic into water bodies – a lifestyle that pollutes these water bodies and make them unsafe for fishes and human beings. If this way of life continues, many believe that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fishes in water bodies.

Plastic is cheap and ubiquitous

Having a way to convert plastic waste into useful products is great for the environment. News from time.com has it that the Akshar Forum school in India that is accepting plastic waste as tuition from students. This is a great way to help remove plastic waste from the environment. Other institutions should follow suit for the sake of mother earth.

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Naturally, something so useful will always feel harmless even when they are and plastic is one of them. Fish is good food but the materials used for fishing are made out of plastic. When these materials expire, the fishermen throw them back into the same water, pollute it and then go back there to fish.

Drinkin from plastic bottle
Photo by Thomas Chauke from Pexels

How about bottling companies? It’s easy to ignore how harmful plastic water bottles can be when wrongly disposed because it carries something so useful in it - water. Giving useful information on these products is a great way for companies to help spread the news about plastic pollution, its effects and how to take good care of the environment.

Related: The Production Of Kerosene From Sunlight And Air

Source: Washington State University

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