How it works Using the converter is easy. The operator simply stuffs the canister with waste plastic (including styrofoam), closes the lid and turns on the machine. As heat is applied, the plastic begins to melt. Once the liquid boils, it passes through a tube at the top and down into a receptacle filled with tap water, which cools the liquid and turns it into oil. In this state, it’s ready to burn as heating oil.
The machine happily handles polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene plastic, but not PET bottles under the #1 polypropylene class. (See Resin Identification codes.)
You can also process it further by separating the oil into gasoline, kerosene and diesel. The fuel is then used to power cars, motor bikes, generators, stoves, lawn mowers — basically anything that needs gas to run. For every kilogram of plastic, the machine will make about 1L of oil. Using a single kilowatt for the conversion, you’re looking at about 20¢ worth of electricity to create a liter of useable oil. By converting plastic into oil, CO2 emissions are reduced by 80% compared to conventional burning of plastic.
The company manufactures a variety of sizes and already has 60 up and running at farms, fisheries and factories in Japan, along with several abroad. “To make a machine that anyone can use is my dream,” said Akinori Ito, CEO of Blest. “The home is the oil field of the future.”
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