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Controversial Topic – Waste to Energy

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Stan 1 year ago.

Louis louisr

Controversial Topic – Waste to Energy

20/03/2019 at 00:21

Here’s a controversial argument to up-cycling or recycling in general: surely with the criticality of the plastic waste situation, is it not best to collect the plastic that’s polluting our environment and convert it to energy using high tech waste-to-energy facilities in developed countries? We are dealing with huge amounts of plastics and waste here… We’ve seen the trash tag viral challenge showing millions of tones of waste being collected to then go to landfill??

I’m asking because I can’t seem to think of a bad reason to do this. The burning is made in highly controlled environments and it powers some city with electricity. Why not go for that? Am I missing something?
Okay it’s not closing the loop, or re-using the materials but in these critical times where we know we are ingesting plastic, wouldn’t this be a good solution?

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20/03/2019 at 00:56

Both the modern landfill and plastic optimized combustion are better alternatives to having the plastic go in the ocean or nature. A modern landfill seals the contents, so a relatively inert plastic is entombed in the landfill volume sort of like putting the oil back in the ground
A well designed plastic burner operates at high temperature and does not produce the toxic smoke that an open pit burn would. Since we will be using combustion for energy for the foreseeable future it is better than pulling new oil out of the ground and using additional energy for transport and processing.
Yes, reuse and recycle are first choice, but for certain materials (Styrofoam?) and in certain locations, using difficult to recycle plastics for energy makes sense.
Yes proposing combustion is controversial until you compare the alternatives.

20/03/2019 at 02:24

why should it be controversial?  Only luddites have no understanding of fractional distillation and the ease that most waste plastics can be re-refined back into oil or other products in a refinery.


The process is so simple actually, you would set up a jungle refinery from scrap metal and hardware store parts without a lot of specialized materials.


Youtube is full of videos demonstrating this.


1000 grams of plastic will yield approximately 700 grams of diesel, or oil, or gasoline depending on the temperatures in the machine.


It is beyond me as to why oil refineries are not using waste plastic as feed stock as the price of scrap plastic per ton is much less than crude oil.



22/03/2019 at 13:42

Hey guys,

Yeah I’m going to look into negotiating with the waste to energy facilities to have a partnership where I’ll provide them with the waste plastic for a fee. Probably won’t make much money at all, but need the government to back me up with initial funds and subsidize me.

The ideal solution would be to turn the plastic into some other raw material… this guys on Trashopolis is transforming plastic back into petrol or other raw materials, it’s an expensive process but probably quite sustainable.
link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ2NzpG_gQ8 at 39:00 minutes
His site looks god awful but it’s here – http://stepsindia.in/

We need to act as soon as possible with a large scale operation, the garbage patch is getting bigger and we are seeing more and more plastic in our blood stream.

26/03/2019 at 19:08

Did you see @timslab post in this thread? https://davehakkens.nl/community/forums/topic/mobile-pyrolysis-plant-turning-waste-into-fuel/ The Dung Beetle Project looks similar to what you are considering.

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