Plastics are used because they are affordable and easy to manufacture and can endure for a long time. Unfortunately, these valuable qualities can make plastic a huge environmental problem. Because the plastic is cheap it gets discarded easily and its quality to remain for a long time in the environment, it can do great harm.
According to a press report, a process through which used plastic can be converted in fuel – Diesel, Petrol and Aviation fuel have been developed by a 45-year old engineer from Hyderabad. The name of the man is Professor Satish Kumar and claims to have developed a three-step process that converts plastic into fuel, known as plastic pyrolysis.
Using this plastic pyrolysis around 500 kg of non-recyclable plastic can produce 400 litres of fuel and no freshwater is needed nor wasted in this process. It also does not pollute the air as the whole process works in a vacuum, claims the Professor. All kinds of plastics such as Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), the former is used for packaging food, beverages, water, etc. while the latter is used in construction, electronics, automobiles, etc, can be used. The end of life (non-recyclable) examples are discarded and can be found in abundance as the fossil-based polymers do not break down to a natural, environmentally safe condition over time by biological processes. Moreover, no need for segregation is required to process the plastic into fuel.
Since the year 2016, Professor Kumar has converted 50-tonnes of plastic which had reached the end of life into fuel and his company which is registered under the ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, produces 200 litres of petrol on a daily basis. The fuel is then sold to local industries at INR 40/50 per litre.
The usability on vehicles as fuel has not been tested yet.