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Researchers from the University of Chester in England developed a new technology that can produce energy from unrecyclable plastic waste.
The innovation was a result of the partnership between the university’s Energy Centre and PowerHouse Energy Group, a company that specializes in developing renewable energy equipment. It is the first technology in the world to use plastic waste to produce energy while also helping bring an end to plastic pollution.
Through this new technology, plastic waste does not even need to be cleaned or sorted to be usable. To produce energy, dirty plastics are simply cut into five-centimeter strips and then melted at 1,000 degrees Celsius. As the strips melt, they emit different gases that are then turned into fuel.
Joe Howe, a professor at the university’s Thornton Energy Research Institute, explained that electricity and fuel are by-products of the entire process. This means that plastic waste could be an important source of fuel for cars and electricity for many cities in the future.
The technology was tested for two years at a facility in the University of Chester. In its next testing phase, the researchers will try to use the technology to power a 54-acre plant in England. They will also try it on 7,000 houses for one day and on 7,000 hydrogen-powered cars.
If the tests succeed, the developers plan to release the technology in Asia. They are planning to introduce it in Japan and parts of Southeast Asia through a partnership with Waste2Tricity (W2T), an organization that supports projects that seek to generate energy from waste.