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    The field of solid waste management continues to evolve and much of that evolution is driven by the adoption of new technologiesthat increase recovery capacity and processing capabilities. Despite all of the technological advances over the recent years in the reclamation of plastics,there remains a portion of the plastic waste stream that cannot be mechanically recycled due to contamination, lack of markets or the inability to separate plasticsthat can make recovery unfeasible. In the U.S., much of this non-recycledplastic then becomes landfilled.
    However, a new generation of conversiontechnology specifically designed to manage non-recycled plastics has beendeveloped, and commercial scale facilities that use pyrolysis technology toconvert plastics into oil and fuel are being established in Europe and Asia.

    The benefits presented by plastic to fuel (PTF)technologies are two-fold: transforming non-recycled plastic into a valuablecommodity, and creating a reliable source of alternative energy from anabundant, no-cost feedstock. This paper provides an overview of the newestgeneration of PTF technologies, explores how this technology can be used tocompliment and support the existing mechanical recycling infrastructure forplastics, and discusses the opportunities and barriers that exist tocommercializing this technology in the U.S.


    In the U.S., the field of solid waste management isbecoming more closely aligned with resource management, and this is occurringin large part because the way we view “waste” is dramatically shifting. Newtechnologies are being developed that allow more materials to be recovered andnew value created from those materials. Much more of our waste stream isconsidered to be valuable scrap material and new technologies such asautomation for materials separation and major improvements in commercialcomposting are allowing the industry to tap into these resources and createvalue out of what was previously considered non-valuable material. Conversiontechnologies, specifically those designed for plastics, offer the samepotential to create value for landfilled plastics that are not appropriate formechanical recycling. And further, plastic to fuel (PTF) technologies offer thepotential to manage landfill-bound plastics as a resource to create a valuablealternative fuel source.

    At this time, a large portion of the plastic wastestream is still treated as “waste,” and there is a large opportunity to recovermore of the plastics we use in the United States. Factors that currently limitmechanical recycling include: contamination issues (e.g., food waste),technical challenges of separating resins in mixed resin products, and lack ofmarkets for some plastics. While technically all thermoplastics can berecycled, the conditions identified above can make recovery through mechanicalrecycling economically impossible. The result is that many plastics still are notrecovered at end-of-life.

    Now, an end-of-life managementoption exists for non-recycled1plastics: conversion of scrap plastics to eitherchemical feedstock or fuel. These conversion technologies rely on the processesof de-polymerization and pyrolysis, respectively. Those in the plasticsindustry may be familiar with the term pyrolysis, or plastic-to-fuel (PTF)technologies, and have some knowledge of past attempts that have been made tocommercialize this technology. The technology has existed for decades, butchallenges seemed to persist in making commercial-scale systems economicallyfeasible, and the technology was limited and did not yield a desirable product.However, recent investment and innovation in pyrolytic technology has created anew generation of systems that may have overcome these previous challenges.And, these modern systems have been deployed in communities in Europe and Asiawith a number of years of demonstrated success.

    The recent evolution of conversiontechnologies for managing scrap plastics has given cause for a re-evaluation ofhow these systems might serve as a viable end of life option for scrapplastics, and better yet, how these systems might be used to complement theexisting recycling infrastructure of plastics. In an effort to betterunderstand the technologies that are available and how they might be used, theAmerican Chemistry Council commissioned this study. This report covers thefollowing items:

    Definition of conversiontechnology

    Existing technologies

    System feedstock

    Growth model for technology abroad

    Growth model for technology in North America

    Opportunities and barriers

    Policies that promote commercialization of PTFtechnologies

    Outlook for growth in the U.S.

    The information in this report is a summaryof findings gathered during interviews of plastic-to-fuel technologymanufacturers, users of PTF technology, industry experts and solid wastemanagers. Because this information is aggregated from a number of sources, muchof this information is presented as averages and general experiences. Specifictechnologies and economic scenarios will differ for each system and should befully vetted.

    The information presented in this report is intended to informthe readers, including municipalities, government officials, plasticsreclaimers, materials recovery facility (MRF) managers, investors, and otherinterested parties about the current state of conversion technology for scrapplastics, how these systems fit in community solid waste management plans andwhat conditions exist that could benefit, or hinder, the commercialization ofthese systems in North America.

    Watched 60 Minutes on Chanel Nine tonight.
    Houston we have a problem.

    NOW is the time for Real Vision on Climate Change from our political mis-respresentatives.

    The means are at hand; the vision and will-power are in a black hole!

    Last edited by Wazza3006: 14/04/19
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