Waste Plastic & Tires to Fuel Project
GridZero's proposed Plastic2Fuel Environmentally Friendly Processing Facility
GridZero's parent company APVG developed a mixed plastic waste and used tire to biodiesel fuel processing plant business model called Plastic2Power in 2019. The goal was to incorporate already existing and proven equipment, built in China and seen above, that converts mixed plastic waste back into oil, or low sulphur diesel fuel, within a set of regional processing facilities.
When considering that 10 pounds of combined waste plastic can generate a gallon of diesel, this 80 ton per day, or 160,000 pounds of waste plastic facility could generate over 16,000 gallons of diesel per day. This is over 57 million pounds of waste plastic diverted from landfills and converted into an estimated 5.7 million gallons of usable eco-friendly low sulphur diesel annually.
APVG developed several plant design renderings over the years, including the 80 ton per day plastic waste facility seen on the left. Political will and funding, then the Covid pandemic delayed its forward motion, and this project now sits on the back burner.
This project was designed for Las Vegas to address mainly its regional 120 ton per day plastic waste issues. The goal was to convert this waste into an eco-friendly renewable diesel for local truckers or diesel fueled vehicle owners. The projected cost for this facility, with fuel depot was estimated at $21 million and would take just 24 months to get operational.
The eco-friendly pyrolysis process of converting these plastic waste products back into their original origin (oil) as shown in the diagram on the right. Pyrolysis is a thermochemical treatment, which can be applied to any organic (carbon-based) product. It can be done on pure products as well as mixtures.
In this treatment, material is exposed to high temperature, and in the absence of oxygen
goes through chemical and physical separation into different molecules. The decomposition takes place thanks to the limited thermal stability of chemical bonds of materials, which allows them to be disintegrated with heat.
Thermal decomposition leads to the formation of new molecules. Thanks to this feature, pyrolysis has become an important process for today's industry – as it allows for waste products like plastic of all types to be converted into far greater value compared to common materials and or just waste. In this case to create a low sulphur diesel fuel that can be ready to use in any diesel powered engines or turbine electric generators. The end result is less plastic reaching the oceans and local landfills.
Pyrolysis is frequently associated with thermal treatment but contrary to combustion and gasification
processes, which involve entire or partial oxidation of material. Pyrolysis is conducted by heating in the absence of air. This makes it a mostly endothermic process that ensure high energy content in the products it creates.
Pyrolysis products always produce solid (charcoal, biochar), liquid and non-condensable gases (H2, CH4, CnHm, CO, CO2 and N). As the liquid phase is extracted from pyrolysis gas only during it’s cooling down, in some applications, these two streams can be used together when providing hot syngas directly to the burner or oxidation chamber, more information is found here Directions of hot syngas utilisation.
Plasic waste is a part of our modern society, from water bottles to fast food packaging. We consider this an endless renewable energy resource that not only solves the waste problem, reduces Co2 emmissions, while creating diesel to generate power or transportation fuel.
During the pyrolysis process, a particle of material is heated up from the ambient to defined temperature settings. The material remains inside the pyrolysis chamber and is transported by screw conveyor at a defined speed, until the completion of the process. Chosen temperatures of pyrolysis process defines the composition and yields of products (pyrolysis oil, syngas and char).
Although we have this project on the back burner, it remains a viable project with proper funding, the support of state and federal governmental agencies, leaders and the right private partner to bring these smaller waste-to-energy projects on line. Contact Peter Ortmann through this website for more details.