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Author Topic: The ultimate in recycling technology  (Read 9323 times)

Offline Ylide

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The ultimate in recycling technology
« on: 03/12/2003 21:20:46 »
I recently heard about a new technology that is capable of using high temperature and pressure to crack just about any organic compound into straight-chain hydrocarbons, acetic acid, elemental carbon, natural gases, and acids of any halogens that are present.  (For instance, it can take solid PVC and convert it into HCl, ethane, and a bit crude oil...it can also take things like tires and convert them to elemental carbon, crude oil, and sulfuric acid)  The entire machine is powered by burning a portion the natural gases it generates.  


Sound like fantasy?  The first plant is already being set up next to a Butterball Turkey factory to process turkey offal into saleable goods.  This guy has Con-Agra backing him, so presumably he won't be crushed by the oil conglomerate.  

Has anyone else heard of this tech?  Is it being perpetuated anywhere else but the US?  It has such amazing potential...as a race we need so much energy and we produce so much waste that it seems a perfect plan for curbing our waste products while also helping out with fuels until we figure out a way to derive energy from something other than burning stuff.

I wish I could point you to the link to the article I read, but Discover has since archived it into the "subscriber only" section.



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Offline chris

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Re: The ultimate in recycling technology
« Reply #1 on: 03/12/2003 22:39:13 »
Yes - I did a piece on this for a show on BBC Essex in May of this year. I jokingly ran the story under the heading "You've heard of putting a Tiger in your tank - but how about a Turkey ?" (the tiger of course referring to Esso's "put a tiger in your tank" ad campaign).

From what i recall of the piece the technology can crack complex fats (like those contained in turkey offal) and turn them into petrol. It can also be applied to old tyres.

As to how it works I guess that they management wouldn;t be willing to tell us that since their share price is riding on it !

Chris

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Offline Ylide

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Re: The ultimate in recycling technology
« Reply #2 on: 04/12/2003 03:02:09 »
The idea of being able to recover raw materials from any organic substance is fantastic.  The article I read went into moderatly deep technical details, I'm sure there are papers out there (and his patent for that matter) that desrcibe the process more in depth.  Some enterprising Brit should get on the ball and replicate this tech for the EU.


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Offline tweener

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Re: The ultimate in recycling technology
« Reply #3 on: 06/12/2003 05:04:48 »
I haven't heard about it, but it sounds great.  I wonder how much net energy is produced. I seems to me like it would take a lot of energy to break down things like PVC and tires.


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Offline Ylide

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Re: The ultimate in recycling technology
« Reply #4 on: 06/12/2003 15:29:15 »
From what I read, it is able to run off of a portion of the fuels it produces, specifically the natural gas portion.  

I would imagine the high temperatures at which the system operates would make most compounds be in liquid or gaseous form when they are broken down.  At temperatures that high, the weaker bonds are going to be quite easily broken by the rapid application of pressure the system uses.  Weaker bonds (i.e. lower energy bonds) like halogen, sulfur, and polymer chain cross-linkage would pop right off, hence the efficiency of 85% they mention.  It's a very clever application of temperature and pressure...if I remember right the machine gets recalibrated depending on what's being broken down.  



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Re: The ultimate in recycling technology
« Reply #4 on: 06/12/2003 15:29:15 »

 

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