Technology turns plastic waste into valuable oils

Technology turns plastic waste into valuable oils


An entrepreneur in the UK has come up with a way to not only clean up plastic.  According to a report in Bloomberg, Adrian Griffiths said his company, Recycling Technologies (RT), could change the history of plastic in the world.

What makes RT unique is that it makes the process of plastic recycling more simple and turns the waste into valuable products.

The team designed a machine about the size of a tennis court that acts as a refinery and uses a process similar to thermal cracking. Called the RT700, the machine takes in all kinds of plastic waste, thoroughly cleans it and then heats it to 9320F. The heat breaks down the long hydrocarbons in the plastic, allowing the machine to produce different kinds of oil products.

All of the oil the RT700 manufactures is called Plaxx, but there are three varieties. One is light, yellow oil used by petrochemical companies. The other is a thick, brown wax that could be used to make shoe polishes or cosmetics, and the third is a heavier oil that’s like candle wax.

Each machine requires a significant investment. An RT700 costs about $3.8 million to install and $647,000 to operate each year. But Griffiths says that investors should recoup costs within two and a half years. After that, operators will start to reap the rewards. Griffith estimates that each machine, which can process at least 7,000 tons of plastic annually, will generate $2.2 million in revenue per year. Griffith hopes to have 100 RT700s online by 2025.