eco fuel technology, inc
Under select conditions, inductively coupled heating will de-polymerize plastic materials into their component monomers. All types of polyethylene will yield ethylene, polypropylene will yield propylene and polystyrene will yield styrene at 85% or greater yield. The monomers can then be converted back to virgin polymers ensuring circular chemical recycling.
Flexible films found in household waste are mostly numerous combinations of polyolefin (LLDPE, LDPE, HDPE, PP, polyester laminated PE and PVC). Mechanical sorting for recycling or mixing with virgin resins to extend their use is not a circular option. Pyrolysis to plastic oil offers a chemical recycling option (usually the economics are not very good) and the process developed by Eco Fuel Technology - Advanced Catalytic Thermal Depolymerization (ACTD) is a better option as it delivers readily useful fuel (diesel and gasoline) in high yields. Still, it is not a circular recycling and presence of polyester or PVC will drastically decrease the yield.
Our team has patented a process that by inductively heating the plastic mixture very rapidly under select conditions, de-polymerizes the polymers to their starting monomers. Polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene will yield ethylene, propylene and styrene at greater than 85% conversion. Other plastic including polyester and PVC end up giving ethylene or propylene mixed with benzene, chlorine and other bi-products including carbon dioxide.
Mixtures of flexible plastic is not a problem as ALL PE will lead to ethylene, PP to propylene. With their very low boiling points, ethylene and propylene ( B Pt - 103.7 C and -47.6 C respectively ) are readily separated from other products. Separation of ethylene from propylene is a well known industrial process and conversion of these monomers into polymers is again a well practiced industrial process.
We have proven this depolymerization process in a mini-pilot plant (100 to1000 g per batch). Based on our experience with the development and scaling up of our ACTD continuous process (from 1 ton to 40 tons per day), we will develop the proposed process to multi ton scale. Concurrently, we will collaborate with others who can polymerize the monomers to demonstrate circular recycling of plastic.