Don’t throw those sweet wrappers away you may need them to run your car. They can be turned into oil by

  • Thermal depolymerization (TDP) or
  • Pyrolysis System.

Thermal Depolymerization 

is the thermal decomposition of organic compounds when heated to high temperatures in the presence of water. Organic compounds can mean anything from pig poop to plastic.

How it works….

Feedstock materials are first ground into small pieces and mixed with water. The mixture is then heated to 482°F (250°C) for approximately 15 minutes in a pressure vessel. The steam generated raises the pressure in the vessel to approximately 600 pounds per square inch (PSI) which, at the end of the heating process, is rapidly released. This causes the water to flash off or rapidly evaporate, thus leaving residual solids and crude hydrocarbons behind.

These constituents are separated and the hydrocarbons collected for further refinement. This involves further thermal treatment to 930°F (500°C) and fractional distillation sorting. The results are light and heavy naphthas, kerosene, and gas oil fractions which are suitable for the production of several grades of fuel oil. The residual solids remaining after the initial thermal treatment may be used as fertilizers, filters, soil fuels, and activated carbon for wastewater treatment. Wise Geek

It can be used in the recovery of PET, polyamides (except Nylon), and polyurethanes (except Styrofoam).

It mimics the natural geological processes thought to be involved in the production of fossil fuels. Under pressure and heat, the long chain polymers are broken down into short-chain petroleum hydrocarbons.

With thanks toWikipedia and Green Manufacturing 

Average TDP Feedstock Outputs[8]
Feedstock Oils Gases Solids (mostly carbon based) Water (Steam)
Plastic bottles 70% 16% 6% 8%
Medical waste 65% 10% 5% 20%
Tires 44% 10% 42% 4%
Turkey offal 39% 6% 5% 50%
Sewage sludge 26% 9% 8% 57%
Paper (cellulose) 8% 48% 24% 20%

(Note: Paper/cellulose contains at least 1% minerals, which was probably grouped under carbon solids.) Wikipedia


This company, Cynar,  use pyrolysis to turn plastic into oil. Here’s what they have to say on the subject

Suitable end of life plastics are preprocessed to size reduce and remove any contaminants or non-plastic materials from the feedstock at the first stage of the Cynar Technology. The shredded plastics and are then loaded via a hot melt in-feed system directly into main pyrolysis chambers. Agitation commences to even the temperature and homogenise the feedstocks. Pyrolysis then commences and the plastic becomes a vapour. Non-plastic materials fall to the bottom of the chamber.

The vapour from the chambers passes into the contactor which knocks back the long chained carbons and allows the required condensable vapours to pass into the distillation column. The system diverts the non-condensable synthetic gas through a scrubber and then back into the furnaces to heat the pyrolysis chambers. The condensable vapours are converted in the distillation column to produce lite oil and raw diesel. The lite oil is put into storage. The raw diesel is passed to the vacuum distillation column to be further refined to produce diesel, kerosene and lite oil; the distillates then pass into the recovery tanks.

The pyrolysis system is the prime chamber, which performs the essential functions of homogenisation and controlled decomposition in a single process. The Cynar Technology process requires minimal maintenance and produces a consistent quality distillate from end of life plastic.

Taken from the website

Wikkipedia has this to say on the subject.

Anhydrous pyrolysis can also be used to produce liquid fuel similar to diesel from plastic waste, with a higher cetane value and lower sulphur content than traditional diesel.[15] Using pyrolysis to extract fuel from end-of-life plastic is a second-best option after recycling, is environmentally preferable to landfill, and can help reduce dependency on foreign fossil fuels and geo-extraction.[16] Pilot Jeremy Roswell plans to make the first flight from Sydney to London using diesel fuel from recycled plastic waste manufactured by Cynar PLC.


Blest Technology based in Japan will sell you a machine to do it yourself at home .As the process sounds exactly like the one above  I am guessing it’s a pyrolysis based system.

Recyclable plastics are polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE) and polystyrene (PS). They cannot recycle PET.

“Teaching this at schools is the most important work that I do,” Ito reflects. In Japan too, he visits schools where he shows children, teachers and parents how to convert the packaging and drinking straws leftover from lunch.

If we were to use only the world’s plastic waste rather than oil from oil fields, CO2 emissions could be slashed dramatically, he says.

“It’s a waste isn’t it?” Ito asks. “This plastic is every where in the world, and everyone throws it away.” quoted here

“The carbon-negative system  is a highly-efficient technology, converting 1 kilogram (about 2 lbs.) of plastic into 1 liter (about a quart) of oil using just 1 kilowatt of power (cost: about .20 cents).

Of course, the end product of this conversion system is still fuel that must be burned, and thus, it will give off CO2 as part of the combustion process.  Read more here

Ocean Ambassadors promote its use.

It is in operation in over 80 countries worldwide, and has a processing capability of up to 20 tons a day.There are pilot projects in works from various universities as well as the UNDP.

We advocate and educate on this technology as a solution to island nations as it provides a real-time solution to effectively processing these “waste materials” locally and providing an end product that has a high demand in all locations.

As it is a low-sulfur burning content fuel and recorded as environmentally friendlier than standard diesel, we feel this technology offers us an option for the time being before we phase into plastic alternatives that are bio-based.


Or you can build your own machine in your back yard like this guy!


Projects that look interesting

The Waste Combuster

Plastic is first processed in an upper tank, which converts the material into gas through a process called pyrolysis. Then, the gas moves to the lower tank, where it’s burned with oxidants. That burning generates heat and steam, which drive combustion and generate electric power. While other waste-to-fuel generators have been developed, Levendis says his machine has the added bonus of not producing harmful emissions.

The waste combustor is currently still in prototype phase, but Levendis is dreaming big: Eventually, he envisions scaling up this concept to juice a large power plant. A connected plastic recycling center could provide a constant stream of fuel.


Heres a plant in India thats transforming plastic into motorbike fuel  They say of the process that it “converts all sorts of waste plastic into fuel oil, petroleum gas and solid petroleum coke. It can work with all kinds of plastic waste, and doesn’t need the waste to be cleaned first. A fractional residue containing metals is the only possibly harmful by-product.”

Pretty sure that is thermal depolymerization

Talking of which .. I got this comment to one of my posts

If there is anybody who seriously wants an eco-friendly disposal system for used plastics, please contact me for this existing zero percent emission process technology that converts plastics into EN590 Diesel – ready for use in vehicles and other uses such as power generation.

Contact:  Mr. Anvi Arcilla



And the yanks are doing it too. This company in America are setting up a business that they hope will turn a profit in 15 months


Other ways to recycle plastic can be found here

And more ways to dispose of plastic here


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