Intro: Plastic to Oil
One of the most rapidly decaying natural resource is oil. A fossil fuel that takes millions of years under outstanding conditions to develop under normal standards. The entire world uses 3,570,000,000 gallons a day. Don't believe me? go to this url "How much oil is uses every day". Now that you see why oil is a rapidly decaying natural resource we can begin. According to "Eia", and independent Statistics and Analysis company,"n 2010, about 191 million barrels of LPG and NGL were used in the United States to make plastic products in the plastic materials and resins industry, which was equal to about 2.7% of total U.S. petroleum consumptionI". Adding to that toll, modern plastic bags are estimated to take millions of years to break down, creating waste. However now there us a new way to create more oil and reduce the amount of waste put into the environment. By making a simple $20-$50 refinery if you will, you can create oil from any type of plastic!
PS: In this Instructable i will be referring to the plastic to oil refinery as "ptor" to save time.
If you wish to know how this process works go to the last step.
Step 1: Assemble Your Supplies
I made my potar by using cheap pluming found in most hardware stores. I will just be giving a guidelines for this so that you can build this on any scale you desire. First of all, everything that you get needs to be made out of iron or other high temperature(1200 degrees Fahrenheit) resistant metals. You will need to begin my creating something that will be able to have a screw on cap with opening on it and a solid bottom. For example i used a steel plate and welded it onto a 3 inch pipe in order to create the bottom but there are many other ways.
Other things needed:
- Propane stoves or a gas welder
- container for water that must be bigger than how big the combustion chamber is
- Airtight Seals
- A cap that can be opened and closed but remain airtight when closed
- A tube or pipe
EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE AIRTIGHT
Step 2: Put It All Together
Now it's actually time for you to do something. You need to put it all together. Depending on the scale and materials you gathered for the the otpr you will have different steps to do so. For me it consisted of welding, covering threads with high temperature pluming tape. After you finish you want to test it. So you can test it first with water and see if any leaks out or with pressurized air.
Step 3: Creating the Process
Now comes the fun part.
Now, assuming that it is built right, you can begin. Start by shredding plastic bags that are commonly used in stores and just get a big pile of it. Depending on how big yours is you'll have to have a larger or smaller pile. Once you get enough to fill it up, stuff it as tight as possible and attempt to get all air out of there.Then shut or screw on the cap and place the out pipe into a large amount of room temperature water. Now using a welder with a heating tip or another type of heating source, begin heating up the container that the plastic is in. You need to get the container to the temperature range between 1000-1200 degrees and keep it there for 5 minutes on a small project but even longer on a bigger one. By this time you should start to see some air bubbles coming out of the tube and up through the water.
Step 4: After Math
After you finish, remove the pipe from the water container and let the water cool.
After the water calms down and cools, you should see a layer of oil floating on the top. However if there was an error in your build so that it was not airtight, you will see some stuff that kind of resembles plastic like in the photo that has a weird texture similar to grease. This means that your build was not a success and you need to fix it.
Step 5: Afternotes
Also if you are really into this project, i discovered that some gasses are also emitted when this is done such as hydrogen, carbon, and others. Saying that you might be able to capture the gasses produces and those might also be combustible.
Step 6: How It All Works.
Essentially the process that just happened was Pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen (or any halogen). It involves the simultaneous change of chemical composition and physical phase, and is irreversible. The chemical bonds in plastic, require a lot a energy to break which is why the temperature is needed to get so hot.
This video is the commercial version of what you just did...Plastic to Oil