British company Waste2tricity has patented a method of heating plastic waste, from bags to bottles, in a kiln until it “gasifies” into hydrogen. This can then be used as clean energy, with clean water the only waste product. The Chester-based company has teamed up with Toyota to open 100 new recycling and refuelling stations which can even convert dirty plastic cartons into clean hydrogen fuel for vehicles.
Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles have a long range. They do not need lengthy recharging, like battery-operated cars, and are simply refuelled.
There are 6,500 hydrogen vehicles on the roads, with half in the US and a third in Japan. It is hoped there will be 40,000 operational within the next two years.
Last year, the British government announced £23million investment in hydrogen fuel technology. Germany is planning to build 400 stations by 2023.
Experts at Waste2tricity said a 25-ton truckload of plastic waste will create enough hydrogen to power 60,000 miles.
The technology could also help avert the global environmental crisis over plastic waste and ocean pollution.
There may also be no need one day for supermarkets to charge for plastic bags.
Only last week it was reported that the Government is to double the charge to 10p and extend it to smaller shops, with parents also discouraged from wrapping children’s sandwiches in plastic.
Until now the UK has exported 500,000 tons of plastic waste to China a year, but Beijing is now refusing to take it.
But Waste2tricity said its first 100 forecourts will easily be able to convert more than that amount per year into clean fuel and electricity.
Professor Joe Howe of the University of Chester, where a prototype is running an electricity grid, said: “We are extremely excited by this new technology, which converts plastic waste into high-quality, low carbon hydrogen ‘syngas’ to power gas engines.
“Once the hydrogen is used in a car or other vehicle it is one of the cleanest, greenest technologies now known to mankind. The by-product is H2O or common water. Nasa astronauts have used drinking water from fuel cells on space voyages.”
Waste2tricity chairman John Hall added: “Our technology would convert almost twice as much plastic waste into usable clean fuel and electricity per year as we currently send to China.”
Daily Express :: Cars Feed