Israeli facility to turn plastic waste into fuel
Environmental Services Company Ltd., an Israeli government body established in 1990 to handle hazardous waste in the Jewish state, will soon begin operating a unique facility designed to recycle plastic and turn it into fuel.
According to the company’s assessments, the facility will be able to derive 1,320 pounds of an oil-like substance from every ton of plastic waste it treats. This facility will be the first of its kind in Israel.
Every day, Israelis dispose of some 1,500 metric tons of plastic waste. Most of it, 75.7 percent, is buried in landfills. Most of the plastic waste comes from homes, agriculture, and industry. In addition, Environmental Services Company receives about 3,000 metric tons of plastic waste from packaging per year.
The recycling process involves melting and depolymerizing the plastic until a fuel resembling oil is derived. The establishment of the facility has cost $2.7 million.
“This process restores the plastic, which is a type of polymer, to its raw state,” said Environmental Services Company CEO Dr. Gilad Golub, Israel Hayom reported. “The end product is an oil substitute that can be refined and replace the need to purchase oil.”
The technology is not overly complicated, plastics are shredded and then heated in an oxygen-free chamber (known as pyrolysis) to about 400 degrees celsius. As the plastics boil, gas is separated out and often reused to fuel the machine itself. The fuel is then distilled and filtered. Because the entire process takes place inside a vacuum and the plastic is melted – not burned, minimal to no resultant toxins are released into the air, as all the gases and or sludge are reused to fuel the machine.