Friday, March 23, 2012

Plastic Alchemy

Oil From Dirty Plastic?

This is not an endorsement. I don’t even know if this process works or makes financial sense. But I certainly like the idea of turning “unsorted, unwashed waste plastic into ultra-clean fuel without the need for refinement.” That's what John Bordynuik, CEO of JBI Inc., says he can do.

JBI says they can produce oil from left over plastics for about $10 a barrel, which is about a tenth the going price (oil was selling for $105 on the day I wrote this).

I'm very much in favor of alternative energy sources, and especially interested in cleaner energy sources like solar and wind power. But homes will have furnaces that burn heating oil and industry will use heavy fuels for many years to come. And JBI produces those fuels, as well as Naptha, a light fuel that can be used as part of transportation fuels.

Having an interim strategy that increases the availability of oil, reduces dependence on foreign sources, reduces our waste stream, creates some jobs, and potentially reduces the cost of some manufacturing... that sounds interesting to me.

Is this for real? NPR reports that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has good things to say about JBI efficiency. Seems to me like something to watch. 

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