A Japanese inventor built a machine that turns plastic bags into oil

Let’s talk about numbers. On average, Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a yearwhich are produced with 12 million barrels of oil. When you think about the fact that a plastic bag it takes 1000 years to decompose, this is a lot of waste that lies in landfills or is dumped into the ocean. What’s worse is that these plastic bags don’t even fall apart completely. They are polluted by sunlight and turn into microplastics, which absorb toxins, polluting the environment.

Although the statistics seem alarming, there are many and usually ingenious ways to properly recycle plastic bags. A smart decision belongs to the Japanese inventor Akinori Ito. Ito created a household appliance that turns plastic bags into fuel. The resulting fuel can be used for various applications such as heat generation.

The future of plastic

Ito realized that because plastic bags are made of oil, they can be converted back to their original shape. The crude oil produced can be used to heat generators and some stoves. It can serve as an alternative to gasoline when refined and can even be used to power cars, boats or motorcycles.

One kilogram of plastic can produce approximately one liter of oil. The conversion process requires approximately 1 kWh of electricity, which is worth approximately 20 cents.

By converting plastic to oil, we eliminate CO2 pollution. Although the final product is still a fuel that will emit CO2 during combustion, this method of recycling can revolutionize the way waste plastics are treated. It raises awareness of the potential of plastic fuel.

The ingenious system is designed for household use, which has the potential to create energy independence among consumers. This practically creates less need to extract more oil from the ground.

How it works

The machine uses highly efficient pyrolysis, which is the conversion of a compound into a smaller and simpler compound at high temperatures. It is able to process various types of plastics such as polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene. However, it is not able to handle PET bottles.

The process begins with heating the plastic. It is then fed into an oxygen-free pressure oven. It is heated to 800 ° F (427 ° C), which turns the plastic into a liquid. The machine then converts the liquid to a gaseous state. The formed gas is then captured and stored for cooling. The steam condenses when cool and forms a crude oil.

The video below shows Ito demonstrating his machine at work.

The crude oil produced by the machine is a mixture of gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene and heavy oil. The machine does not produce any toxic substances when fed with suitable materials such as polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene. In addition, the machine produces a small amount of residual inert charcoal, which can be disposed of with ordinary waste.

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