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How to turn plastic waste into diesel fuel cheaply

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  • Alec thats an amazing outfit, Again more questions. What catalyst are you using? The clear liquid below the golden fuel is really strange. If you can separate them weigh a quantity to determine the specific gravity ie the weight in grams of a litre. We might be able to figure out what it is from that.
    Is your car a diesel or petrol engine?

    A chemist friend is going to help me set up a test using bromine solution. Adding an unsaturated hydrocarbon to bromine water causes it to change from brown to clear. If the hydrocarbon is saturated then there is no change. This could help us determine what our fuels are made up of.


    • vapour phase temperature

      To Extraolud


      • Hi everybody

        Hi all,
        I see lot of you using the word `reflux`. please explain me what is that. Is that the pipe between the shell and the condensor?


        • Originally posted by silver View Post
          Hi all,
          I see lot of you using the word `reflux`. please explain me what is that. Is that the pipe between the shell and the condensor?
          That is very first condensor. It should to crack too big molecules, over c25. Reflux leads oversized molecule for recracking back to reactor.

          Question: what is ratio by weight of catalyst - and feed stock.

          Last edited by otpadnoulje; 09-13-2011, 12:18 PM.


          • My catalyst/reflux column has 300 gms of clay catalyst and so far I have completed 3 runs of 500gms of plastic. A total of 1280 ml of fuel. The first run produced a slightly cloudy fuel that waxed slightly but the second and third were much better. I dont know how many runs the catalyst will last but I will post when I think the catalyst is exhausted.
            My catalyst and reflux are in the same vessel at the moment. I think the catalyst would last a lot longer if it didnt have condensed oil "raining" on it.


            • Thanks Imakebiodiesel. You were right by catalyst-reflux temperature. 220-150 c.


              • No problem otpadnoulje, I still dont know why the reflux temps should be so low. Your figures for boiling points of diesel etc were right.


                • Originally posted by congnghiah4 View Post
                  results I get gasoline 25%, DO 45%, 1.5% bitum, FO 15-17%,1.5% steam.
                  10% The remaining gas does not stop.
                  because I should use catalyst, that gasoline is stable color
                  What kind of catalyst, please describe.


                  • zeolites

                    hi! Otpadnoulje
                    I used a catalyst of zeolites, it has two ways to create
                    1 by way of general
                    2 from natural mineral "clay"
                    Both are made on the basis of aluminum and silicon,
                    This is the secret of each manufacturer catalytic professional.
                    Thank you suggested for treatment of sulfur but this method only briefly managed
                    Or only the inorganic sulfur is sulfur in the ring circuit, the carbon has not solved.speak only be addressed when de-S by Mo containing catalyst, the carrier zeolyst
                    H2O2, H2SO4, depending on each person's experience


                    • I feel that Ive finally got there, this is my latest batch, as you can see even after 24 hours it still had that clear lemony colour. This is a mixture of PE and PP, cracked at low temp 380C and the reflux temp limited to 180C. It took longer than usual to complete probably because of the low reflux temp. this is the third run on my catalyst of local clay.
                      My next task is to add another condenser to separate diesel and petrol.


                      • i have used pumice ( i bought pool wall cleaner brick) and broke into piece - i put this in the reflux part and then i use red clay pots - crushed up pretty good - i used 10% weight for the clay - and put into the reactor. i need to compare the diff with and with out the cats.

                        the seal is basicly a "gland seal" or a box seal i think it might be called. the outer shell is 1' sch 40 pipe which has a ID of basicly 1" - and then the rod is 1/2" OD -

                        i used two of these to guide the shaft:

                        then i use this 5/16 seal rope at the top

                        i put a big washer in the pipe coupling to act as a shelf to hold the brass bearing in place - and then wrap the shaft several times with the seal rope and use a 1" to 3/8" reducer coupling as the top and tighting this down packs the seal down - so you need to put pressure of the rope so it is expanding proper to seal against the shaft - i forgot all the dimensions - but i guess there is about .25" gap between the shaft and the pipe wall - and the 5/16 fills this gap - you should check the ID of the pipes used etc - i will see if i can do a sketch on how this was done - it is not an exact science - just pack it in and it works.

                        i have run with ABS - recently also - this is plastic from like old computers and stuff - it sticks like burnt rubber - and i might have lost some brain cells - but it produced a dark oil - i ran with the reactor tank at 400C and the vapor leaving the reflux was steady between 220C to 250C - the oil produced very quickly then pure HDPE at same temp. but it smelled really bad - i am going to try to run lower temp on this to get the vapors down lower to see if a can get a lighter oil.

                        Originally posted by imakebiodiesel View Post
                        Congratulations Extraloud, great outfit, well thought out. Like everybody else I will have a few questions. Are you using a catalyt? How do you seal the stirrer?
                        I fitted one of my new temperature probes to my reflux tower today and did a "run" using only PE. Previously I had monitored the temp of the reflux with an infrared reader so I only knew the temp of the outside. The cracked fuel began to flow at 120C and reached maximum flow at 180c. I allowed the temp to rise as high as 230 but no extra fuel came out. as Jetijs,predicted the second run on the catalyst was much better with clear golden fuel with no waxing.
                        Im not sure if the Co2 is really necessary, in the initial heat up stage any moisture, oil, dirt, paper glue etc adhering to the waste plastic will boil or gasify, driving out the air. And as previously mentioned it could poison a clay based catalyst.
                        But well done, congratulations again.


                        • amazing

                          this is amazing. is anybody doing this at a large scale?


                          • This is being done on an industrial scale in many places, there is a plant only 2 hours from where I live that processes 60 tons of waste plastic a week. It has become viable only in the last few years because the price of fuel and the cost of landfilling plastic have risen high enough. Our aim here is to make it viable for the individual or small business to do it for themselves. Small is beautiful.
                            Extraloud, what you describe is called a stuffing box here, its similar to the seal used on a marine propeller shaft except the stuffing is heatproof instead of waterproof. Thanks for your explanation. Pumice and red clay are materials that i want to try out but these tests are going to take a long time. I am going to keep using my clay catalyst until it is exhausted before trying any other material and ive no idea how long it will last.


                            • Thanks, congnghiah4 and Imakebiodiesel. How do you apply zeolite. Vapor or liqueed phase? Ratio, zeolite-oil?

                              Imakebiodiesel, isn't it time to change your nickname to Imakediesel.

                              What is your processing time for your 500 grams of PP and PE?


                              • Im using a small propane burner so its quite slow. It takes about 40 minutes to get up to temperature and then about 40 minutes to process. I have bought electric heating bands similar to the ones Jetjis used but much bigger to use on my larger reactor.
                                I wont abandon biodiesel just yet, I make 150 litres every 2 weeks, so far Ive only made about 1.5 litres of usable fuel from plastic.