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how can i turn plastic into fuel for my car ? Answered

plastic disposal is an ever increasing problem, and here in africa is hell lot a problem, i tried making biodiesel from an instructable but the cost of methanol is too high, so i was wondering if it were possible to convert plastic back into oil and use it for my car



Expanding on what Lemonie said about building some form of "oven" and "cooking it". If you are in Africa then a solar oven is perfect. If you wanted it you could make an extreemly powerful one with parabolic mirrors, these would concentrait the suns beams and create a very hot pillar of energy which can be directed into a containment unit, this could then have the plastic in and and could be heated very easily. Also any fumes from the process could be collected and then processed to be harmless.

NOTE, Do NOT burn the plastics, the toxins created are highly toxic and have serious health and evntironmental affects assiciated with them.

Burning plastic releases dioxin.

Dioxin is carcinogenic and generally very bad news. So be careful.

This is just what you are looking for: waste plastic pyrolysis!!gallactronics.blogspot.com/2013/11/how-to-convert-plastic-to-oil.html‎

This is just what you are looking for: waste plastic pyrolysis!


take a tin, wind nichrome around it, seal it and finally, suck air. i bet you that you will get it!


If you are recycling PS, PP, or PE then all you have to do is heat it up to 400 C in a kind of still and then condense the vapors coming off to get a kind of crude that can then be separated into diesel, kerosene, and gasoline. PS, PP, and PE break down at 400C. If you want to use PET then you have to heat it to about 800C to get the same results. If you use PVC then you will get toxic chlorinated byproducts.

you can do this, but you will need to heat it to 900 degrees ferinhight and preassurize it to 600 psi for 15 minutes then you will have oil


8 years ago

Pyrolysis was mentioned in a book I read recently about green plastics. The process was also mentioned in the movie Addicted to Plastic.

It involves heating plastic up to about 500 or 1000 degrees or something. But the trick is to heat the plastic in an oxygen-free environment. I think they pump in an inert gas or maybe just suck out all the air with a strong vacuum pump.

If you DIY this system, you are my hero.

Thank a mil guys , i came across a website offering a benchscale machine converting plastic to oil www.blest.co.jp check it out, use google translater coz its in jap.

the solar oven idea could be a good one if expanded upon, thinking to contact our local Industry Research Institute and see into it, will keep updating

If they do, could you tell me, i'd like to see if anything comes from the idea :) Might get me some copyright on it too, (joke) :P

You could, with some kind of pyrolysis, but there is an associated energy cost.
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Building some kind of "oven" and "cooking" plastic wouldn't be that hard to do for a test, but you'd then want a refining process to get motor fuel from it.


.  Startup will be rather power hungry, but once you get the pyrolysis process going, required heat input should drop to almost zero. The off-gasses have a high BTU content and can be used as fuel with the introduction of a little O2 (air).
.  The biggest problem I see with pyrolysis is the huge amount of elemental carbon that is produced.

.  Pretty much so. But probably not a "grade" that one would want to use in a house.
.  You'll be making HCs of various lengths and configs plus elemental H and C - all of which have high BTU content.
.  Recycling is probably a better option. Plastic-bottles-as-fuel might make sense on an industrial scale (eg, a steam boiler), but I don't see how it would be very efficient as automotive fuel. YMMV.

I don't think it's a good idea for filling your tank, but I thought it worth an answer.


There are also several companies working on bacteria that will break the plastic down into something that is easier to refine the oil from.  But that's not something that a DIY'er can use yet.