DIY Plastic to Oil

142,635

172

78

Introduction: DIY Plastic to Oil

About: Contact: pranav28.om@gmail.com

"Till date nothing has proven to be a truly effective or environmentally responsible solution to the burgeoning global landfill problem. In fact, many existing solutions have been just the opposite: costly, energy inefficient or equally as harmful to the environment as the plastic itself. "

It is only now, that with the evolving pyrolysis technology, there is a solution that is remarkably simple, economically viable and "green" as well.

Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperature without the participation of oxygen. In this process long polymer molecules are broken down into shorter chains of hydrocarbons with the help of heat and pressure. You can learn more about this process here: How to make oil from plastic

Some benefits of pyrolysis are that the process does not generate harmful pollutants and that the by-products can be used as fuel for running the plant. In the case of plastic, some of the valuable fuels and solvents that can be extracted through waste plastic pyrolysis are fuels like gasoline, kerosene, diesel, and high-value ones like benzene, toluene and xylene. And a kilo of waste (typically PP) can yield upto a litre of fuel whereas the incineration of the same quantity of plastic would produce 3 kilos of CO2!

This technology is growing in popularity and in demand. Commercial machines for home are still expensive. But with the following method, you can convert waste plastic to fuel all by yourself!

If you like this project, do vote for it!

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Procedure

WARNING:

You will be working with highly inflammable substances. So do take the following precautions:

  • Avoid inhaling the potentially harmful fumes
  • Keep the fumes, produced in the reaction, away from fire and from electrical points
  • Work in well ventilated spaces
  • Keep some water and a fire extinguisher on stand-by in case of an accident

Construction of prototype pyrolysis reactor

  1. Build a robust leak-proof reactor chamber
  2. Build a condensation tube of copper, steel, or aluminium
  3. Build a system for monitoring the temperature of the feed
  4. Build a system to efficiently condense and collect the mixture of products

Step 2: Build the Reactor

Before getting down to work, first decide the scale of your setup.

Ideally, 1 kg of plastic can produce 1 kg of fuel. For getting a good yield, you can use polypropylene i.e. any plastic product with the mark PP or '5'.

The reactor that I built has a capacity of about 100g.

So while selecting the container for your reactor, keep in mind the following considerations:

  • It must be a robust metal container
  • Its shape will affect the reaction speed, intensity and chemistry
  • It must be easily openable and cleanable, yet...it MUST be perfectly leak-proof!

I used a stainless steel vessel and clamped it with a bolted aluminum strip. Next I drilled a hole in the centre of the lid for the outlet of the fuel vapour.

Step 3: Condensing Energy

Back in the reactor, the plastic is converted to vapourized fuel above 400C.

You need to convert this vapour to liquid by passing it through a condenser. Once again, it needs to be robust, heat resistant and leak-proof. I used copper pipes (used as condensate piping in A/Cs and refrigerators) but you can you aluminium or steel.

The length of the condenser may not be sufficient for the circulating water to bring the 400C vapour to room temperature. So you'll need to further bubble it into water and then seperate the floating oil from the denser water. Let me know if you come up with a smarter way for doing this!

Step 4: Start Producing Black Gold

Once you are done with the construction work, start the fascinating process of converting trash to black gold!

Here's how:

1. Collect some waste plastic items and shred them to pieces for faster and better reaction

2. Seal the shredded plastic tightly in the reactor chamber

3. Setup the equipment on your stove and turn on the inlet water flow

4. Turn on the stove, stand back, and watch the spectacle!

Initially you'll see fumes flowing out of the condenser, then drops will trickle, and finally you'll have a stream of usable oil flowing out! At the end of the reaction, when you open the chamber that was initially full, you'll be surprised to find it empty, only charred.

The trash disappears and all you are left with is usable oil of high calorific value. Light the obtained fuel and witness it burn flawlessly and for long! If you want to obtain refined usable products from this mixture, you can do so by careful fractional distillation. Although few people can extract the different product of pyrolysis, we successfully did! After successive distillations, we extracted four distinct products, which on the basis of boiling point, odour and calorific values, were concluded to be benzene, toluene and even a mixture similar to diesel!

Waste is a misplaced resource...your trashcan is a treasure chest.

Burn It! Contest

Participated in the
Burn It! Contest

Explore Science Contest

Participated in the
Explore Science Contest

MAKE ENERGY: A US-Mexico Innovation Challenge

Participated in the
MAKE ENERGY: A US-Mexico Innovation Challenge

2 People Made This Project!

Recommendations

  • Backyard Contest

    Backyard Contest
  • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

    Silly Hats Speed Challenge
  • Finish It Already Speed Challenge

    Finish It Already Speed Challenge

78 Discussions

0
byllcolette
byllcolette

Question 2 months ago

Can a pressure cooker be used as a container?

0
osanchezm
osanchezm

Question 2 months ago

Sir, how you eliminate the Odor after the pyrolysis?

0
farhanega
farhanega

Question 4 months ago

I heard that the chamber/reactor shouldn't have oxygen inside it when the pyrolysis occurs. How can you get rid of the oxygen? Thanks in advance and sorry for bad English.

0
MorneeS
MorneeS

Tip 6 months ago

Easiest way to separate oil from water;

1. Symphony off majority of water with a plastic hose.

2. Place container of oil and water in the freezer

3. Wait till water is frozen

4. Remove frozen water immediately

😎

1
Diottis
Diottis

Question 7 months ago

How can ı prevent oxidation for plastic gas

0
Afroepoet
Afroepoet

8 months ago

pretty interesting project there doing gud service to mother nature as far as recycling and re-use is concerned thumbs up.

0
dudewhy
dudewhy

8 months ago

Benzene and Toluene are both very toxic, Benzene is also a carcinogen.

0
magnus18
magnus18

Question 9 months ago on Step 3

I have made this pyrolysis project and also producing the gas/fumes....but am not able to condense them into liquid form....Please help

0
stompingapollo
stompingapollo

Question 1 year ago on Step 4

hey man, great project, you mention the fumes are flamable, would you happen to know what the fumes are exactly?

0
cesargeovanni.pm
cesargeovanni.pm

Question 1 year ago

hola, me parece muy interesante tu proyecto, y quiero hacer uno, pero quiero hacerlo para refinar gasolina, gasoil y queroseno, tu sabes el proceso?

Hello, I think your project is very interesting, and I want to do one, but I want to do it to refine gasoline, diesel and kerosene, do you know the process?

0
Makemorehip
Makemorehip

Tip 1 year ago

you could modify the condensing tube to be either double pass counterflow condenser?

0
RubieR
RubieR

Question 1 year ago

Hi! Thanks for all the information. I am exploring the opportunity of making a mobile pyrolisis system. How much diesel is required to run the system? Do you have an idea about the optimal scale? Anyone tried it out? and how can we fractional distillate the output (to run an egine)? Thanks!

0
SANTOSHK147
SANTOSHK147

1 year ago

What is the total price for this project

1
RanjiniR
RanjiniR

1 year ago

I want to do this project. please help

0
abhinandu1234
abhinandu1234

3 years ago

can we make petrol from this oil using fractional distilation?

0
lol boy18
lol boy18

Reply 3 years ago

yes

0
Venkat Ganesh
Venkat Ganesh

Reply 1 year ago

Hi I want to know information about the plastic wast to desial machine provide details and total information and. What is the cost for this mechan
Please send me the details of My mail
Venkatganesh401@gmail.com

0
DavutK
DavutK

4 years ago

Diesel & Gas Manufacturing Kit (Mazot,gaz uretim Kiti) $999

Hello we manufactured machines produce diesel,gasoline and LPG same time

merhaba biz yeni bir makina urettik ,ayni zamanda,mazot,benzin ve gaz uretiyor

thanks

INVENT TECT TURKEY

Tel:0534-0635607

Skype: wirelessdepothk

Http://www.dkfon.com

Diesel & Gas Manufacturing Kit (Mazot,gaz uretim Kiti)

0
Venkat Ganesh
Venkat Ganesh

Reply 1 year ago

Hi this is not working. You are putting the wrong web site address send correct email address

0
alexmocho
alexmocho

Reply 3 years ago

Hello, can you send me the correct contact information, please?