Plastic waste tends to have drastic effects on the environment. It is a non-biodegradable material, meaning it will remain in landfills for many years to come. Even when it does break down eventually, it will emit toxic chemicals that not only harm the environment but its inhabitants as well. Luckily though, recent developments in the fields of sustainability and green living have carved out ways for one to reuse plastic in many ways.
In addition to reusing and re-purposing plastic, one can break down plastic waste into oil (since plastic is made from oil). The process can be carried out in high pressure vessel reaction chambers which break down the plastic into oil which can then be used as gas for homes or fuel for automobiles, etc.
DIY Ways to Convert Plastic Waste into Oil
Here are some DIY ways to convert all that plastic waste in your home into usable oil. We have explained two projects here which can be easily set up in your home with minimum requirements. Note though that you may have to be careful as you will be dealing with some highly inflammable materials during the processes.
Method I: Plastic Conversion to Oil
Plastic Waste – As much as you can get
Pressure Vessel Reaction Chamber – you can get one in hardware stores
What you need to do:
Put the plastic waste into the pressure vessel reaction chamber. Switch on the machine.
You will need to heat the pressure vessel chamber until the plastic inside it melts under the heat. The ideal temperature for this will be about 250 degrees Celsius. The heat will cause steam to rise up inside the chamber, thus increasing the pressure inside it to about 600 psi.
Once the plastic is completely melted, release the pressure quickly. This will cause the water in the chamber to boil off, leaving behind solid minerals and basic hydrocarbons. The gas collected in the chamber will boil over the top into a container containing cool water. The cold water will condense the gas into oil which can then be used for fuel or gas.
Remove the solid minerals from the chamber and heat the hydrocarbons in it further to about 500 degrees Celsius. This will result in the hydrocarbons breaking down further as the different constituents in them reach their respective boiling points. At this point, some parts of the hydrocarbons will start evaporating, leaving behind the compounds which have the lowest boiling point.
These compounds will rise as gas and exit from the top of the chamber while the ones with higher boiling points will exit from the bottom of the chamber. Called fractional distillation, this process will help in filtering the oil obtained from these compounds. The oil can then be broken down further to be used as gas, diesel oil or kerosene.
Method II: Conversion of Plastic Bottles into Oil
In addition to using plastic waste, you can also turn old, used up plastic bottles in your home into oil. This oil can be used as fuel or can be combined with other fuels to be used in combustion engines. Ensure that you have a large area for this project and attempt to do it only in a controlled setting.
Non-PET plastic bottles
What you need to do:
Shred the plastic bottles by passing them through the hopper.
Activate the infrared heating system using electricity.
Place the shredded plastic bottles into the closed container.
Apply the infrared heat to the container in order to melt the plastic.
Add oxygen gas to the mix.
The gases escaping from the chamber are diverted into a container containing cool water where they turn into usable oil.
Plastic waste can be easily repurposed as oil, thus preventing this non-biodegradable waste from ending up in landfills and oceans worldwide. There are several ways one can convert plastic waste at home in a controlled setting into usable oil for use as gas or fuel.