Thursday, September 17, 2009

Plastic to Fuel

From the ever inspiring ecogeek -

A new company in Washington, DC, Envion, believes they've come up with a way to efficiently convert waste plastic into fuel by using carefully-controlled infra-red energy. The $5-million plant was unveiled this morning.

The process that Envion has created is still tightly under wraps, but the plant includes a chemical reactor with internal agitators for mixing the liquid and heating elements that deliver the necessary infra-red energy. Since the infra-red energy is easily controlled, the process is very efficient. The plant is able to convert 82 percent of the waste into fuel and the resulting sludge is usable too.

The liquid can be mixed with other components to become gasoline or diesel. Envion has already signed up one company to use their recycled oil as motor fuel and is negotiating contracts with others.

The plant can process all types of plastic except for #1 PET, which is easily recycled at a better value. For each ton of waste, the plant can produce three to five barrels of fuel, with each barrel costing about $10 to make.

The amount of good news these days is overwhelming. There is something going on. Maybe Ian Lungold was right about us being on a schedule

(For those of you who do not know who Ian is, watch his mind blowing explanation of the Mayan calendar and how he put the pieces together to show the evolution of the universe and the planets and life and animals and humans and all of consciousness matches up to the cycles of the Mayan calendar which ends October 28th, 2011!)


Bill Real said...

Sorry man but how long do you thing there will be plentiful supplies of cheap plastic after peak oil? And how much will it cost to ship it to the conversion plants?

2 words mate: diminishing returns.

Zachary Stowasser said...

Bill - thanks for the comment :)

This technology will help us in our "transition".

The backside of the cliff off the peak will not be as steep as we reduce our consumption, increase our efficiency and reduce waste. The last concept is utilized here.

Check out the posts on the blog - there are lots of solutions coming together. All of them combined will be our answer. I do not believe I have ever said there was a silver bullet!

Also we must believe in technology because there is no way we can all go back to living off the land - atleast forever. When the concept of "peak everything" is realized. we need energy and technology to accomplish zero waste and recycle everything. Metals and fencing are part of this, if we are to grow our own food, especially animals, then we need fencing. We cannot grow fencing. It comes from industrial society. The easy answer to this is to all become vegetarians but then what about the processing tools to harvest and shell the beans and wheat, etc. We are dependent on technology to survive. The good news is that good news keeps coming, and it is starting to show up at a rapid pace.

Not time yet to be a doomer, things are getting better. Just read the *right* news!

Bill Real said...

Hi ok yeah I see where you're at, but my heckles rise everytime I see techno-utopian statements like this:

"The next step is for governments across the world to change our top priority from economic growth (and profit) to a sustainable world where we are powered by renewable energy and renewable resources and everything is endlessly recycled including our human waste"

Make me question your grip on reality... You really think 7 billion people are going to live comfortably as energy descent kicks in? Resource nationalism is already starting and you don't have to go far from there to war. The BNP here in Britain is the only party with a Peak Oil policy (look them up, they're fascists, in the literal sense of the word.)

Anyway, la-di-da, lets all drive hybrid cars. I mean come on - artificial trees that cost $15000? I mean one thing you can depend on is REAL trees growing. These people are so far off the mark it would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

Er - "Earths fucked, ecologies are collapsing, humanity is consuming way too many resources and screwing it all up - what can we do?"

"Build some goddam artificial trees of course, that'll keep the 'economy' going."

Zachary Stowasser said...

Your perspective on reality is true. We're really fucking up and feels like we're about to run off the cliff of energy descent. Go and read my "mushrooms and our purpose in life" rant and you can see my perspective a few months ago. I totally agree with you.

However, there are solutions coming out that show we can think outside the box and that investments are being made in the right direction.

So I see the solutions rising up to lift us and balance us as we descend off the cliff of fossil fuels.

Yes people are going to be pissed off, we need this for real change to happen.

This whole blog started because I was expecting a revolution to happen anytime soon. I got behind ron paul for president. He was clueless to sustainable solutions, but he believed in people and business, aka "the market" to find solutions.

the problem is our government has our priorities wrong.

we can spend trillions on wars, no problem.

so imagine if we spent that money on sustainable solutions?

so spending $15000 on devices aka "fake trees" to capture co2 to create a sustainable fuel does not seem so far fetched when we have no problem spending millions and billions on fighter jets and bombs.

also, what kind of future do you want? I know the reality looks ugly. But one thing I've learned is that the only constant in this universe is change. so we can either change for the worse or change for the better.

I believe both is happening right now. So I'm going to put my imagination and energy into us making it.

Otherwise there is no reason to live.

Bill Real said...

Ok 1st:

The backside of the peak may be WAY sharper as energy EXPORTS dry up. These predictably enough drop way faster than PRODUCTION rates as the countries that produce oil invariably use it themselves. SO of course, they like to keep it for themselves after they peak, logically enough. This leaves countries with no oil, or little left, up the creek real quick.

There are in fact no 'solutions' to this dilemma... as John Michael Greer puts it, it's a predicament we have to face.

The reality is politicians will do whatever they can to maintain the status quo at all costs, and if that involves more wars for energy they will do that.

There is still plenty of reason to live even if the future looks ugly - lets have a party goddamn it! The reality of the situation IS ugly but I'm not going to kid myself that ephemera like fake trees or Priuses are 'solutions'.