Plastics were first invented in 1860, but have only been widely used in the last 30 years. Plastics are light, durable, modifiable and hygienic. Plastics are made up of long chain of molecules called polymers. Polymers are made when naturally occurring substances such as crude oil or petroleum are transformed into other substances with completely different properties. These polymers can then be made into granules, powders and liquids, becoming raw materials for plastic products. Worldwide plastics production increases 80 million tons every year. Global production and consumption of plastics have increased, from less than 5 million tons in the year 1950 to 260 million tons in the year 2007. Of those over one third is being used for packaging, while rest is used for other sectors. Plastic production has increased by more than 500% over the past 30 years. Per capita consumption of plastics will increase by more than 50% during the next decades. In the Western Europe total annual household waste generation is approximately 500 kg per capita and 750 kg per capita in the United States; 12% of this total waste is plastics. The global total waste plastic generation is estimated to be over 210 million tons per year. US alone generate 48 million tons per year (Stat data from EPA). The growth in plastics use is due to their beneficial characteristics; 21st century Economic growth making them even more suitable for a wide variety of applications, such as: food and product packaging, car manufacturing, agricultural use, housing products and etc. Because of good safety and hygiene properties for food packaging, excellent thermal and electrical insulation properties, plastics are more desirable among consumers. Low production cost, lower energy consumption and CO2 emissions during production of plastics are relatively lower than making alternative materials, such as glass, metals and etc. Yet for all their advantages, plastics have a considerable downside in terms of their environmental impact. Plastic production requires large amounts of resources, primarily fossil fuels and 8% of the world’s annual oil production is used in the production of plastics. Potentially harmful chemicals are added as stabilizers or colorants. Many of these have not undergone environmental risk assessment and their impact on human health and environment is currently uncertain. Worldwide municipal sites like shops or malls had the largest proportion of plastic rubbish items. Ocean soup swirling the debris of plastics trash in the Pacific Ocean has now grown to a size that is twice as large as the continental US. In 2006, 11.5 million of tons of plastics were wasted in the landfill. These types of disposal of the waste plastics release toxic gas; which has negative impact on environment. Most plastics are non-biodegradable and they take long time to break down in landfill, estimated to be more than a century. Plastic waste also has a detrimental impact on wild life; plastic waste in the oceans is estimated to cause the death of more than a million seabirds and more than 100,000 marine mammals every year (UN Environmental Program Estimate). Along with this hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year eating discarded waste plastic bags mistaken for food. Setting up intermediate treatment plants for waste plastic, such as: plastic incineration, recycle, or obtaining the landfill for reclamation is difficult. The types of the waste plastics are LDPE, HDPE, PP, PS, PVC, PETE, PLA and etc. The problems of waste plastics can’t be solved by landfilling or incineration, because the safety deposits are expensive and incineration stimulates the growing emission of harmful green house gases, e.g COx, NOx, SOx and etc. By using NSR’s new technology we can convert all types of waste plastics into liquid hydrocarbon fuel by setting temperature profile 370° C to 420° C, we can resolve all waste plastic problems including land, ocean, river and green house effects. Many of researcher and experts have done a lot of research and work on waste plastics; some of the thesis’s are on thermal degradation process [1-10], pyrolysis process [11-20] and catalytic conversion process [21-30]. Producing fuels can be alternative of heating oil, gasoline, naphtha, aviation, diesel and fuel oil. We also produce light gaseous (natural gas) hydrocarbon compound (C1-C4), such as: methane, ethane, propane and butane. This process is profitable because it requires less production cost per gallon. We can produce individual plastic to fuel, mixed waste plastic to fuel and that produced fuel can make different category fuels by using further fractional distillation process. This NSR technology will not only reduce the production cost of fuel, but it will also reduce 9% of foreign oil dependency, create more electricity and new jobs all over the world. To mitigate the present world market demand, we can substitute this method as a potential source of new renewable energy.
2. Experimental section
2.1. Waste plastics properties
A plastic has physical and chemical properties. Different types of plastics displayed distinguishable characteristics and properties. Many kinds of plastics are appeared like LDPE, HDPE, PP, PS, PVC &PETE etc. Several individual plastics properties are elaborated in shortly, that’s given below in Table-1, Table-2, Table-3and Table-4.
2.2. Pre analysis of Gas Chromatography & Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) analysis
Before starting the fuel production experiment, we have analyzed each of the individual raw waste plastics. Types of analyzed raw waste plastics are following, HDPE-2 (High Density Polyethylene), LDPE-4 (Low Density Polyethylene), PP-5 (Polypropylene) and PS-6 (Polystyrene)
Individual raw waste plastics of GCMS pre-analysis in accordance with their numerous retention times many compound are found, some of them are mentioned shortly. In HDPE-2 raw waste plastics on retention time 2.14, compound is Propane (C3H8), on retention time 22.45, compound is Cyclotetradecane and finally on retention time 46.76 obtained compound is Pentatriacotene (C35H70) [Shown above Fig.1 and Table-4]. In LDPE-4 raw waste plastics on retention time 2.11, compound is Propane (C3H8), on retention time 14.84, compound is Undecane (C11H24) and finally on retention time 47.91 obtained compound is 9-Tricosene (Z)-(C23H46) [Shown above Fig.2 and Table-5]. In PP-5 initially on retention time 2.13 compound is Cyclopropane (C3H6) and finally on retention time 33.98 obtained compound is 1, 22-Docosanediol (C22H46O2) [Shown above Fig.3 and Table-6]. Accordingly in PS-6 on retention time 2.17 found compound is Cyclopropane and eventually on retention time 40.13 obtained compound is Benzene, 1,1',1'',1'''-(1,2,3,4-butanetetryl)tetrakis[Shown above Fig.4 and Table-7].
2.3. Sample preparation
We take municipal mixed waste plastics or any other source of mixed waste plastics; we initially sort out the foreign particles, clean the waste plastics and clean wash them with detergent. After clean up all waste plastics spread in the open air for air dry. When dried out we shred them by scissors, now shredded plastics are grinded by grinding machine. Grinded samples structure are granular form small particles and that easy to put into the reactor. In our laboratory facility we can utilize 400g to 3kg of grinding sample for any experimental purposes.
3. Process description
3.1. Individual plastic to fuel production process
The process has been conducted in small scales with individual plastics in laboratory, on various waste plastics types; High-density polyethylene (HDPE, code 2), low-density polyethylene (LDPE, code 4), polypropylene (PP, code 5) and polystyrene (PS, code 6). These plastic types were investigated singly. For small-scale laboratory process the weight of input waste plastics ranges from 400 grams to 3kg. These waste plastics are collected, optionally sorted, cleaned of contaminants, and shredded into small pieces prior to the thermal liquefaction process. The process of converting the waste plastic to alternative energy begins with heating the solid plastic with or without the presence of cracking catalyst to form liquid slurry (thermal liquefaction in the range of 370-420 ºC), condensing the vapor with standard condensing column to form liquid hydrocarbon fuel termed “NSR fuel”. Preliminary tests on the produced NSR fuel have shown that it is a mixture of various hydrocarbons range. The produced fuel density varies based on individual plastic types. In equivalent to obtaining the liquid hydrocarbon fuel we also receive light gaseous hydrocarbon compounds (C1-C4) which resembles natural gas. Further fractional distillation based on different temperature is producing different category fuels; such as heating oil, gasoline, Naphtha (chemical), Aviation, Diesel and Fuel Oil. Experiment diagram given below in Fig.5.
3.2. Mixed waste plastic to fuel production process
Mixed waste plastics to fuel production process performed in the laboratory on various waste plastics types; High-density polyethylene (HDPE, code 2), low-density polyethylene
(LDPE, code 4), polypropylene (PP, code 5) and polystyrene (PS, code 6). These processes were investigated with mixture of several plastics such as HDPE-2, LDPE-4, and PP-5 &PS-6. These waste plastics are collected, optionally sorted, cleaned of contaminants, and shredded into small pieces prior to the thermal degradation process. The experiment could be randomly mixture of waste plastics or proportional ratio mixture of waste plastics. For small-scale laboratory process the weight of input waste plastics ranges from 300 grams to 3kg. In the laboratory processes our present reactor chamber capacity is 2-3 kg. We put 2 kg of grinding sample into the reactor chamber to expedite the experiment process. At the starting point of experiment reactor temperature set up at 350 ºC for quick melting, after melted temperature maintained manually from “reactor temperature profile menu option” by increasing and decreasing depending to the rate of reaction. The optimum temperature (steady & more fuel production state) is 305 ºC. From 2kg of waste plastics obtained fuel amount is 2 liter 600 ml (2600 ml), fuel density is 0.76 g/ml. We defined the fuel as heating oil named “NSR fuel”. The experiment additionally produced light gases Methane, Ethane, Propane and Butane as well as few amount of carbon ashes as a remaining residue. These light gases would be the alternative source of natural gases. Mixed waste plastic to produced fuel preliminary test indicated that the hydrocarbon compound rage from C3 to C27.
3.3. Fractional distillation process
Fractional distillation process has been conducted according to the laboratory scale. We measured 700 ml of NSR fuel called heating fuel and took the weight of 1000 ml boiling flask (Glass Reactor). Subsequently fuel poured into the boiling flask, after that we put filled boiling flask in 1000 ml heat mantle as well as connected variac meter with heat mantle. Attached distillation adapter, clump joint, condenser and collection flask with high temperature apiezon grease and insulated by aluminum foil paper. Initially we ran the experiment at 40 ºC to collect gasoline grade, after gasoline collection subsequently we raised the temperature to 110 ºC for naphtha (Chemical), 180 ºC for aviation fuel, 260 º C for diesel fuel and eventually at 340 ºC we found fuel oil. At the end of the experiment remaining residual fuel was less, approximately amount 10-15 ml. Out of 700 ml NSR fuel we collected 125 ml of gasoline; density is 0.72 g/ml, 150 ml of naphtha; density is 0.73, 200 ml of aviation fuel; density is 0.74, 150 ml of diesel fuel; density is 0.80 g/ml and 50-60 ml of fuel oil; density is 0.84.
4. Fuel production yield percentage
After all experiment done on behalf of each experiment we calculated the yield percentages of fuel production, light gases and residue. In addition described the physical properties of each fuel such as fuel density, specific gravity, fuel color and fuel appearance respectively. Similarly, individual fuel production yield percentages & properties are given below in Table 8 (a) & 9 (a) and Mixed Waste Plastics to fuel Yield percentages & properties are also given below in Table 8(b) & 9 (b).
|Waste Plastic Name||Fuel Yield %||Light Gas %||Residue %|
|Name of Fuel||Density g/ml||Specific Gravity||Fuel Color||Fuel|
|Mixed Plastic to Fuel||0.775||0.7742||Yellow light transparent||Ash contain present|
4.2. Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) analysis
Analysis of Individual waste plastics (HDPE-2, LDPE-4, PP-5, and PS-6) to individual fuel:
From GCMS analysis of Individual HDPE-2, LDPE-4, PP-5, and PS-6 fuel, in accordance with their numerous retention times many compounds are found, some of them are mentioned shortly. In HDPE-2 fuel at retention time 1.56, compound is Propane (C3H8), and finally at retention time 30.38 obtained compound is Octacosane (C28H58), [Shown above, Fig.6 & Table-10]. In LDPE-4 fuel at retention time 1.55, compound is Cyclopropane (C3H6), and finally at retention time 33.21 obtained compound is Octacosane (C28H58) [Shown above, Fig.7 & Table-11]. In PP-5 initially at retention time 1.55 compound is Cyclopropane (C3H6) and finally at retention time 28.95 obtained compound is Dodecane,-1-Cyclopentyl-4-(3-Cyclopentylpropyl) (C22H46O2 ) [Shown above, Fig.8 & Table-12]. Accordingly in PS-6 at retention time 3.65 found compound is 1, 5-Hexadiyne and eventually at retention time 24.67 obtained compound is p-Terphnyl (C18H14) [Shown above, Fig.9 & Table-13].
Analysis of Mixed Waste Plastics to Fuel (Heating Oil):
From GCMS analysis of NSR fuel (Called Heating Fuel) primarily we found long chain hydrocarbon of compound. In the GCMS data we have noticed that the obtained compounds are Cyclopropane (C3H6) to Heptacosane (C27H56) including long and short chain of hydrocarbon compound [Shown above, Fig.10 & Table-14].
GCMS Analysis of Mixed Waste Plastics to Fractional Distillation Fuel:
GC/MS analysis of fractional distillation fuel, a lot of compound is appeared in each individual fuel. Some of those compounds are mentioned, such as in Gasoline (1ST Fraction) we found Carbon range C4 to C9 and compound is 1-Propene-2-Methyl (C3H8) to Benzene, (1-methylethyl) - (C9H12) [Shown above, Fig.11 & Table-15]. In naphtha (2nd Fraction) Carbon range is C6 to C14 and compound is 1- Hexene (C6H12) to Tetradecane (C14H30) [Shown above, Fig.12 & Table-16]. In Aviation fuel (3rd Fraction) Carbon range is C8 to C20 and compound is Styrene (C8H8) to Eicosane (C20H42) [Shown above, Fig.13 & Table-17]. In Diesel (4th Fraction) Carbon range is C5 to C28 and compound is pentane (C5H12) to Octacosane (C20H58) [Shown above, Fig.14 & Table-18].Eventually in Fuel oil (5th Fraction) Carbon range is C4 to C27, and compound is 1-Propene-2-methyl (C4H8) to Heptacosane (C27H56) [Shown above, Fig.15 & Table-19].
4.3. FTIR (Spectrum-100) analysis
Analysis of Individual waste plastics (HDPE-2, LDPE-4, PP-5, and PS-6) to individual fuel:
|Band Peak Number||Wave Number|
|Compound Group Name|
|Band Peak Number||Wave Number|
|Functional Group Name|
In FTIR analysis of HDPE-2 fuel obtained functional groups are C-CH3, CH2, Non-Conjugated, CH3,-CH=CH2,-CH=CH- (Cis) and –CH=CH-(Trans) [Shown above, Fig.16& Table-20].In LDPE-4 analysis functional groups are C-CH3, CH2, Non-Conjugated, CH3,-CH=CH2,-CH=CH- (Cis) and –CH=CH-(Trans)[Shown above, Fig.17 &Table-21].In PP-5 analysis functional groups are CH3,C-CH2,-CH=CH- (Cis) and,-CH=CH- (Trans). [Shown above, Fig.18 & Table-22] Subsequently in PS-6 analysis obtained functional groups are CH2, CH3, Acetates,-CH=CH2 and –CH=CH-(Cis) etc. [Shown above, Fig.19 & Table-23].
FTIR Analysis of Mixed Waste Plastics to Fuel:
In FTIR analysis of mixed waste plastics to NSR fuel obtained functional groups are: CH3, Acetates, Secondary Cyclic Alcohol,-CH=CH2, C=CH2,-CH=CH-(Cis) and -CH=CH-(Trans) etc. [Shown above, Fig. 20 & Table-24].
FTIR Analysis of Mixed Waste Plastics to Fractional Distillation Fuel:
In FTIR analysis of fractional distillation fuel such as in 1ST Fraction Fuel (Gasoline) obtained functional groups are CH3, Acetates, Secondary Cyclic Alcohol, -CH=CH2, C=CH2,nad -CH=CH- (Cis). [Shown above, Fig.21 & Table-25]. In 2nd Fraction Fuel (Naphtha) analysis functional groups are CH3, Non-Conjugated, Acetates,-CH=CH2,-CH=CH- (Cis) and –CH=CH-(Trans). [Shown above, Fig.22& Table-26]. In 3rd Fraction Fuel (Aviation) analysis functional groups are CH3, Acetates, C-CH2,-CH=CH- (Cis) and -CH=CH-(Trans) [Shown above, Fig.23& Table-27]. In 4th Fraction Fuel (Diesel) analysis functional groups are CH2, CH3, Acetates,-CH=CH2, C=CH2 and,-CH=CH- (Cis) [Shown above, Fig.24 & Table-28]. Subsequently in 5th Fraction Fuel (Fuel Oil) analysis obtained functional groups are Secondary Cyclic Alcohol,-CH=CH2, C=CH2, –CH=CH (Trans) and –CH=CH-(Cis) etc. [Shown above, Fig.25& Table-29].
5. Electricity production from waste plastic fuel
Both NSR fractional fuels (NSR fractional 1st Fractional Fuel and NSR 4th Fractional Fuel) have been used to produce electricity by the help of conventional internal combustion generator. A flow diagram illustrating the process of energy production and consumption from NSR Fuel (Heating Oil) is shown below in Fig.26.
NSR fractional 1st collection fuel was used in a gasoline generator with max 4.0 kW and volt output of 120. ~1 litter of fractional fuel was injected in the generator and with ~2900 watt constant demand; the generator ran a total of 42 minutes. A similar test was performed with commercial gasoline (87). ~1 litter of commercial gasoline (87) was injected and with the same ~ 2900 watt, constant demand the generator ran a total of 38 minutes. The difference in time occurs because NSR fraction 1st collection fuel has longer Carbon content than that of the commercial gasoline (87).
NSR fractional 4th collection fuel was used in a diesel generator with a max 4.0 kW and an output of 120 volt. ~1 litter of NSR fractional 2nd collection fuel was injected in the generator and with a constant demand of 3200 watt; the generator ran a total of 42 minutes. The same test was conducted with commercial diesel, and with the same demand the generator ran for 34 minutes.
A diagram [Fig.27] is provided below showing the produced electricity consumption of commercial gasoline (87) and NSR fractional fuel 1st collection.
Comparison of NSR 4th fraction fuel and commercial diesel was conduced using an AMCO Diesel Generator. Above, Fig. 28 and Table 30 demonstrate the comparative results between the two fuels. The results indicate that the NSR-2 fuel provided a longer run time of the generator than the diesel. This is due to the NSR fuel having longer carbon chains than the diesel fuel.
6. Automobile test driving
Both NSR fractional 5th collection fuel and commercial gasoline (87) was used for a comparison automobile test. A 1984 Oldsmobile vehicle (V-8 powered engine) was used for the test-drive and one gallon of fuel was used for both cases after complete drainage of the pre-existing fuel in the fuel tank. The test-drive was done on a rural highway with an average speed of 55 mph.
Based on the preliminary automobile test-drive, the NSR fuel has offered a competitive advantage in mileage over the commercial gasoline-87. NSR fuel showed better mileage performance of 21 miles per gallon (mpg) compared to 18 mpg with commercial gasoline (87).
It is expected that NSR double condensed fuel will show even higher performance with more fuel-efficient car such as V-4 engine and hybrid vehicles. Additional test-driving is going to be conducted in the near future to verify the results.
The conversion of municipal waste plastics to liquid hydrocarbon fuel was carried out in thermal degradation process with/without catalyst. Individually we ran our experiment on waste plastics such as: HDPE-2, LDPE-4, PP-5 & PS-6. Each of those experiment procedures are maintained identically, every ten (10) minutes of interval experiment was monitored and found during the condensation time changes of individual waste plastics external behavior different because of their different physical and chemical properties. Similarly, we ran another experiment with 2kg of mixture of waste plastics in stainless steel reactor. Initial temperature is 350 ºC for quick melting and optimum temperature is 305 ºC. For glass reactor every experiment temperature was maintained by variac meter, when experiment started variac percent was 90% (Tem-405 ºC) for quick melting, after melted variac percent decreased to 70% (Tem- 315 ºC) due to smoke formation. Average (optimum) used variac percent in this experiment 75% (337.5 ºC).Gradually temperature range was maintained by variacmeter with proper monitoring. In fractional distillation process we separated different category of fuel such as gasoline, naphtha, jet fuel, diesel and fuel oil in accordance with their boiling point temperature profile.