Tires to Diesel

Plastic is made from oil, unfortunately, it’s hard to make oil from plastic. Or, at least, it used to be. Global Resources Corporation has created a special kind of microwave that zaps plastic at very specific wavelengths in order to release the hydrocarbons.

As an example, put a tire into the GRC Hawk-10, and the machine slowly dribbles out diesel oil. What’s left inside the microwave is pure carbon black (which can be sold to tire companies for, y’know, making new tires) and the steel that gives the tires strength.

Put a bundle of insulated wires in, you get oil, and copper (with some dyes and carbon left over.) The process works on anything made of petroleum products, including hard plastic, rubber, foam rubber, even your old polyester pants. The microwave units range in size from a the size of a regular microwave oven to the size of a cement mixer.

Running 9.1 kilograms of ground-up tires through the Hawk-10 produces 4.54 liters of diesel oil, 1.42 cubic meters of combustible gas, 1 kg of steel and 3.40 kg of carbon black.

Via NewScientist