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Efficient ways for disposing all the plastic waste from our planet

  • 1.  Efficient ways for disposing all the plastic waste from our planet

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-25-2019 03:57
    Any interesting solutions? One solution which came to my mind is sending a spacecraft with an appreciable payload of waste towards the sun and disposing it in the solar furnace. But that may not be a cost-effective options since you would be needing thousands of spacecrafts to carry all the garbage to the sun and back so a lot of fuel would be consumed...

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    Rohit Korde MSc,CEng
    Program Manager
    Worley
    Thane (W)
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  • 2.  RE: Efficient ways for disposing all the plastic waste from our planet

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-26-2019 00:42
    Plastic to oil is now an established technology. SUEZ (SITA earlier) have, for instance, a sizeable (30,000 tpa plastic to oil ) plant in the UK. Many countries have similar technologies. In India Ventana have a pilot plant in Chandigarh.

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    Vishwas Pangarkar PhD
    Retired Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Mumbai, India.
    Currently: Independent Chemical Engineering Academic/Professional.
    Nasik-422013, India.
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  • 3.  RE: Efficient ways for disposing all the plastic waste from our planet

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-29-2019 05:57
    There are a lot of solutions exists for plastics, provided it is segregated from other wastes especially wet waste. Traditional mechanical recycling exists for plastics especially polyolefins, chemical recycling for polyesters etc.

    For plastics already dumped in landfills, I think it is not so safe to engage someone to collect and remove it. And of course plastic to oil exists but that has challenge of its own, like they would need clean segregated waste (contamination by PVC or PET to be removed). Lastly, if nothing else works, you can still incinerate in cement kilns.

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    Ankush Jain


    India
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  • 4.  RE: Efficient ways for disposing all the plastic waste from our planet

    SENIOR MEMBER
    Posted 07-30-2019 09:31
    There are numerous chemical plastic recycling solutions being developed and with the plastic recycling rate well below 20% - all of them will be needed.  Most plastics recycling is physical sorting and is what can be easily contaminated limiting the uses of the recycled materials.  The dream is that the chemical recycling processes can accept a higher level of contamination.

    As a ChE I would like to see the recycle stream feed back into the industry feedstock, this article highlights one of those solutions:

    https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/petrochemicals/040119-new-plastics-to-fuel-plants-tighten-squeeze-on-oil-demand-outlook

    There are some plastic to energy solutions, which there is room for, better than landfilling but still probably not as good a returning it to be a feedstock for the production of Ethylene or even a higher level material.

    This is an area where ChE can add lots of value.

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    Gary Hilberg PE
    President
    Continuum Energy
    Cypress TX
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