Study considers plastics as fuel

Numerous firms, including Envion Inc., Climax Global Energy, Agilyx Corp. and JBI Inc., are studying or developing processes to pyrolyze plastics into synthetic fuels, according to a study conducted by the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University for the American Chemistry Council of Washington. If all the plastics currently thrown into landfills in the U.S. were converted by pyrolysis to fuel oil instead, it would add 87 million barrels of oil per year to the U.S oil supply, approximately the amount of oil the U.S. consumes in 41/2 days. The study also revealed that if that same amount of plastics were used as fuel in power plants designed to use plastics, it would produce enough electricity, 52 million megawatt-hours, to power 5.2 million households annually. As per the repost, approximately 57.6 billion tons of post-consumer plastics, or 85.8% of all plastic used in the U.S. in 2008, was landfilled; 7.7% was combusted with energy recovery and 6.5 percent was recycled.

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