A new process will allow the production of hydrogen and electricity from unsorted, unwashed waste plastic
Researchers at the University of Chester and Powerhouse Energy have developed a way to use plastic waste to heat homes.
The process takes unsorted, unwashed plastic and rapidly heats it to 1,000C. The heat causes the plastic to release hydrogen and other gases. The hydrogen is then trapped and can be compressed and used to power vehicle engines or to generate electricity. The process can generate more than 1 tonne of fuel-quality hydrogen gas and more than 58 MWh of exportable electricity per day. The plastic is also completely destroyed in the process.
In addition to reducing the use of fossil fuels, projects like this can have the benefit of decreasing plastic found in oceans. Although similar projects have raised concern that burning plastic could release greenhouse gases, W2T plans to trap all of the gases produced and use them to generate electricity in gas-fired power plants.
The technology has been licensed to waste-to-energy company Waste2Tricity (W2T), which is developing a plant on a site near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. W2T aims to eventually roll out plants in Southeast Asia, where hydrogen-fuelled buses are already in use.
The company plans to buy unrecyclable plastic waste to fuel the plant from countries where such waste often ends up in rivers and oceans.
Check it out! Website: waste2tricity.com China has already realized the potential of Hydrogen fuel. The world’s biggest car market is set to embrace hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle technology. China’s former science-and-technology minister, who’s been called the father of China’s electric-car movement has said that he wants to “establish a hydrogen society”.