If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(YouTube)   Japanese man invents machine that turns plastic back into oil. Still no cure for canc.. Wait he did WHAT?   (youtube.com) divider line 125
    More: Hero  
•       •       •

9916 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 Aug 2010 at 11:37 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



125 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all
 
2010-08-23 11:09:11 AM  
Holy shiat, that is pretty farking awesome. Where can I buy one!?
 
2010-08-23 11:14:14 AM  
This can't be a great return on the energy invested, but at some point mining the oceans and landfills for plastic will become profitable.

Which is kinda scary considering plastic is one of the few sinks for carbon in our oil addiction.
 
2010-08-23 11:14:25 AM  
*blinks*

Holy fark. I thought that wasn't possible.
 
2010-08-23 11:28:31 AM  
That's gotta be too good to be true. He just tosses whatever garbage he can find in there like it's a goddamn Mr. Fusion. I also find it hard to believe that nobody else has though of "What if we burn the trash then condense the gas?" before this guy.
 
2010-08-23 11:37:41 AM  
I am pretty skeptical of this. I hope its true but seriously, there has to be something flawed here... just toss in trash and voila! instant energy?
 
2010-08-23 11:39:39 AM  
 
2010-08-23 11:40:04 AM  
Well, there is a lot of energy bound up in plastic. I think the molecules are huge, though, and unraveling them would be difficult.

.
 
2010-08-23 11:40:24 AM  
This process has been around for a while. It's just not terribly useful.
 
2010-08-23 11:42:17 AM  
just google 'blester' and you'll find that this is nothing new. this video is from April of 2009. more informative videos from 06-07 are available
 
2010-08-23 11:42:21 AM  
Show us your Marx: I am pretty skeptical of this. I hope its true but seriously, there has to be something flawed here... just toss in trash and voila! instant energy?

As others said, it took a shiat ton of energy already to MAKE the trash, and they're just getting some of that energy out. It's not an infinite motion machine or anything (caveat: haven't seen the video, can't see youtube from this computer).
 
2010-08-23 11:48:09 AM  
blogs.discovermagazine.com

Old news.
 
2010-08-23 11:52:27 AM  
It seems like the main concern is coming up with a way of dealing with trash and to get people to recycle to convince them that the plastic is valuable. When you talk about recycling in the conventional form, not many people are interested or go out of their way to do it. Many times they have to separate things out and it is cumbersome, it is easier to just discard the stuff. When you can associate a very real price for something valuable like oil/gas, people might be prompted to recycle more often. When you just tell someone "oh recycling is suppppper you are helping the environment!" that unfortunately isn't enough to motivate most people, money however is. If they know they can get x dollars for something as simple as plastics as is, they might recycle more often, and even if they don't there would be someone that would.
 
2010-08-23 11:53:05 AM  
That's pretty cool, but I'd like to know how much coal is being used in turning it back.

Since it's Japan, I figure it's mostly nuclear, but here in the US... it's a negative return.

The Japanese: Reminding us that we're stupid since 1978.
 
2010-08-23 11:53:43 AM  
Sweet, now we can take out that giant island of plastic in the Pacific and turn it into an oil spill!
 
2010-08-23 11:55:15 AM  
Isn't this the same concept as woodgas/syngas? Burning something combustible (in this case garbage) to make a combustible fuel?
 
2010-08-23 11:57:08 AM  
Sweet, first approved submission I actually am around to post in.
 
2010-08-23 11:58:20 AM  
1derful: Sweet, now we can take out that giant island of plastic in the Pacific and turn it into an oil spill!

Then they can take that dispersant to get rid of the oil spill! Think of all the jobs we're creating!
 
2010-08-23 11:59:14 AM  
This isn't instant energy folks... remember the whole "heating it up" step? Yeah, that takes some energy at the start. It's a great idea though especially as liquid fuel sources become more scarce.

My bet is that the energy needed to heat/stir the plastic is much less than the potential chemical energy of the components gotten from it but that's contingent upon the energy required to separate it. Probably still a good be based upon the age of that tech.

Even if it breaks even, this is a good step for converting grid energy into existing vehicle fuel.
 
2010-08-23 11:59:42 AM  
ecmoRandomNumbers: That's pretty cool, but I'd like to know how much coal is being used in turning it back.

Since it's Japan, I figure it's mostly nuclear, but here in the US... it's a negative return.

The Japanese: Reminding us that we're stupid since 1978.


Interesting point, in the US it would just be a giant sinkhole. 'Hey, let's burn coal to make this oil into plastic!'
'Hey, let's burn more coal to turn it back into oil!'
 
2010-08-23 12:01:36 PM  
INeedAName: ecmoRandomNumbers: That's pretty cool, but I'd like to know how much coal is being used in turning it back.

Since it's Japan, I figure it's mostly nuclear, but here in the US... it's a negative return.

The Japanese: Reminding us that we're stupid since 1978.

Interesting point, in the US it would just be a giant sinkhole. 'Hey, let's burn coal to make this oil into plastic!'
'Hey, let's burn more coal to turn it back into oil!'


Wait, what if you burn oil to turn plastic into oil?
 
2010-08-23 12:03:46 PM  
flaming99: Isn't this the same concept as woodgas/syngas? Burning something combustible (in this case garbage) to make a combustible fuel?

Not quite burning, since it is relatively without oxygen. It is breaking up the polymer. Burning would just give carbon dioxide.

ecmoRandomNumbers: That's pretty cool, but I'd like to know how much coal is being used in turning it back.

Since it's Japan, I figure it's mostly nuclear, but here in the US... it's a negative return.

The Japanese: Reminding us that we're stupid since 1978.


This process might end up being useful if they were able to capture some of the energy from the decomposing trash at a landfill to power this system. Especially since it appears to only need heat, it should be possible to make a simple boiler to depolymerize the plastics.
 
2010-08-23 12:03:58 PM  
Dracolich: This isn't instant energy folks... remember the whole "heating it up" step? Yeah, that takes some energy at the start.

Of course, some of that energy may be recoverable via heat exchanger, depending on how the process is designed; and it's possible (though far from clear) it might be negligible compared to the overall energy content of the plastic. However, if nothing else it gives you a way of using nuclear power as an input to turn plastic back into feedstock for plastics/fertilizer/gasoline.

Probably a while before the Pacific garbage patch is worth mining, however.
 
2010-08-23 12:04:34 PM  
I would like to know what the energy conversion rate is.
Still, I would want one of these.
Looks like it is easier than straight biodiesel to make.
You could then use a bio-plastic-fuel blend.
 
2010-08-23 12:04:48 PM  
IcedTorch: INeedAName: ecmoRandomNumbers: That's pretty cool, but I'd like to know how much coal is being used in turning it back.

Since it's Japan, I figure it's mostly nuclear, but here in the US... it's a negative return.

The Japanese: Reminding us that we're stupid since 1978.

Interesting point, in the US it would just be a giant sinkhole. 'Hey, let's burn coal to make this oil into plastic!'
'Hey, let's burn more coal to turn it back into oil!'

Wait, what if you burn oil to turn plastic into oil?


BOOM! INFINITE SUPPLY OF OIL!!!
 
2010-08-23 12:04:49 PM  
IcedTorch:

Wait, what if you burn oil to turn plastic into oil?


Well we burn coal and oil (and use pesticides and fertilizers derived from oil) to grow corn and then we burn coal to ferment the corn and distill it to make ethanol for fuel.

So why not?

.
 
2010-08-23 12:07:21 PM  
abb3w:
Probably a while before the Pacific garbage patch is worth mining, however.


By that time, I bet evolution will be solving that problem anyway.

.
 
2010-08-23 12:10:36 PM  
Concerns aside, using electrical energy to turn abundant plastic waste into less-abundant usable liquid fuel is a pretty handy trick, especially where electricity is abundant.
 
2010-08-23 12:10:43 PM  
dogboy360: I would like to know what the energy conversion rate is.
Still, I would want one of these.
Looks like it is easier than straight biodiesel to make.
You could then use a bio-plastic-fuel blend.


Even if it consumes energy, it's still a good way to get rid of non biodegradables, isn't it?
 
2010-08-23 12:12:23 PM  
I think the more accurate question simply is "does it produce enough fuel to run a high-pressure diesel generator capable of operating it?"

The rest of it is a matter of how much the original unit costs.
 
2010-08-23 12:17:24 PM  
www.blogcdn.com

Great Scott!!
 
2010-08-23 12:17:43 PM  
I'm going to run my car on Happy Meal Toys!
 
2010-08-23 12:19:19 PM  
angrywhitedude.com
 
2010-08-23 12:19:27 PM  
While this will probably not solve energy issues, it does go a long way towards getting rid of trash and making it useful. Like the video showed, a lot of places have a trash problem and they do not know how to deal with it. This machine gives them another option aside from just lighting the trash on fire and burning out in the open. Or letting it sit in landfills for hundreds to thousands of years.
 
2010-08-23 12:20:18 PM  
Isn't THIS the kind of thing that solar energy was made for? I mean, honestly, make a big plastic-to-oil conversion depot out in the Nevada desert.
 
2010-08-23 12:24:24 PM  
I have some numbers. it takes roughly 20 cents worth of electricity to covert one liter's worth of oil, but if scaled up, it could cost as little as 5 cents per liter.
If it were powered by wind, hydroelectric, solar, etc. it would produce that energy cleanly.
 
2010-08-23 12:24:49 PM  
My friend Scott owns a produce delivery company.. Runs all his trucks on biofuel he makes in a shed in his back yard. Using something just like this.. He mostly uses old produce and produce crates to make his fuel.

/cool story
 
2010-08-23 12:25:27 PM  
Trielli: Thermal depolymerization (new window)

Yeah, this really isn't anything new. Making a better process sure, but we've known about this for awhile.

And as stated already, the energy required makes it a huge net loss when you're burning farking coal for energy.
 
2010-08-23 12:25:40 PM  
abb3w: Dracolich: This isn't instant energy folks... remember the whole "heating it up" step? Yeah, that takes some energy at the start.

Of course, some of that energy may be recoverable via heat exchanger, depending on how the process is designed; and it's possible (though far from clear) it might be negligible compared to the overall energy content of the plastic. However, if nothing else it gives you a way of using nuclear power as an input to turn plastic back into feedstock for plastics/fertilizer/gasoline.

Probably a while before the Pacific garbage patch is worth mining, however.


Hell, we've been storing plastics in special zones we designed hundreds of years ago, every State, City, and County has huge reserves stockpiled for future use.

This was called planning... we call it Garbage Dumps...

/certain kids live in pails there
 
2010-08-23 12:27:51 PM  
so much for peak oil.
 
2010-08-23 12:35:31 PM  
Not news, still awesome though.
 
2010-08-23 12:42:20 PM  
GAT_00 : Holy fark. I thought that wasn't possible.

Yeah, once you make plastic, it's impossible to break the molecules back down again.

/snicker
 
2010-08-23 12:45:00 PM  
The great idea is to put a thermal depolymerization plant co-sited with a high-temp gas-cooled nuclear powerplant, and use the process heat left over after generating power to cook the garbage i8n the TD plant. A farking cornucopia. And a great way to reduce landfill use and air and water pollution.
 
2010-08-23 12:52:25 PM  
In eighth grade chem class we had to bring in a nylon or polyester piece of clothing. I brought in one of my mom's old polyester shirts.

Then I stuffed it into a flask, hooked it up to a distilling tube (a glass spiral tube inside of another glass tube that you ran cold water through).

When I put the burner under the flask, the shirt melted!
Then it turned into vapor, which after cooling condensed into a test tube.

At the end, the test tube was layered - with black goop as the bottom layer all the way up to some transparent layers of fine lubricants or maybe even kerosene.

That wing of the school smelled like burning tires for at least a week.

/did not read the article
//couldn't see any words!
 
2010-08-23 12:55:13 PM  
DistendedPendulusFrenulum: Well, there is a lot of energy bound up in plastic. I think the molecules are huge, though, and unraveling them would be difficult.

.


If they're anything like extension cords and garden hoses, it will be impossible.
 
2010-08-23 12:55:14 PM  
Is this the same crap as that machine that turned Turkey guts into oil? Anyone remember that?
 
2010-08-23 12:58:00 PM  
This shiat. Whatever happened to this?

Link (new window)
 
2010-08-23 01:01:14 PM  
what's left over in the heating chamber?
 
2010-08-23 01:02:00 PM  
DarnoKonrad: This can't be a great return on the energy invested, but at some point mining the oceans and landfills for plastic will become profitable.

Which is kinda scary considering plastic is one of the few sinks for carbon in our oil addiction.


like say those islands of plastic? floating in the ocean?
 
2010-08-23 01:07:19 PM  
satanorsanta: flaming99: Isn't this the same concept as woodgas/syngas? Burning something combustible (in this case garbage) to make a combustible fuel?

Not quite burning, since it is relatively without oxygen. It is breaking up the polymer. Burning would just give carbon dioxide.

ecmoRandomNumbers: That's pretty cool, but I'd like to know how much coal is being used in turning it back.

Since it's Japan, I figure it's mostly nuclear, but here in the US... it's a negative return.

The Japanese: Reminding us that we're stupid since 1978.

This process might end up being useful if they were able to capture some of the energy from the decomposing trash at a landfill to power this system. Especially since it appears to only need heat, it should be possible to make a simple boiler to depolymerize the plastics.


One of the landfills that serves LA metropolitan energy gets enough methane from the decomposition to power 30 thousand homes with gas. They already collect that much. Would be easy enough to just pipe that over to the plastic area and use some of that as the fuel to run the machine to depolymerize the plastic.

We'd end up with both NG, diesel and gasoline from a system with only one input.
 
2010-08-23 01:08:07 PM  
colon_pow: what's left over in the heating chamber?

Carbon.
 
Displayed 50 of 125 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all



This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report