Microwave Turns Plastic Into Oil

How can 9 kg of used tires become 4.5 liters of diesel oil, 1.4 cubic meters of combustible gas, 1 kg of steel, and 3.4 kg of carbon black? By adding the old tires to a new microwave developed by Global Resource Corporation in New Jersey.

The microwave, called the Hawk-10, recycles plastics by returning them to their original states of oil and gas. The microwave uses 1,200 different frequencies of microwaves which target certain hydrocarbons in the plastics.

The microwaves release the hydrocarbons from any material that has a hydrocarbon base, which then becomes gas and oil.

Parts of the material without a hydrocarbon base are left behind, simplifying the separation of materials such as plastic casing around copper wires. The leftover copper can itself be recycled more easily.

A scrap metal company in New York, Gershow Recycling, has recently been the first company to purchase a Hawk-10 microwave. The microwave will extract enough gas and oil from the old recycled cars to power itself, plus many other machines used at the scrap yard.

Besides creating a useful purpose for used plastics, the process will also decrease the amount of waste piled into landfills-as much as 65%-which has become an increasing area of concern. Global Resource Corporation predicts that Gershow Recycling will recover a full return on their investment in about one year.

via: New Scientist Tech

Lisa Zyga
Science Blogger

Jun 27, 2007
by Anonymous Olive Oyl (not verified)

Would you call it