Nov 27, 2010

Science Scene - Plastic to Oil :o)

For each kilogram of plastic, the Blest Machine (a Japanese company) will create one liter of oil, using one kilowatt of electricity.  This translates to an approximate cost of 20 cents per liter of oil [less than $50 per 55 gallon barrel you normally read about in commodities pricing].  

It's estimated that 7% of the total world's annual oil production is used to produce and manufacture plastic.  This household machine could conserve both plastic and oil by converting polyethylene, polystyrene, and polypropylene (numbers 2-4), but not PET bottles (number 1), into unrefined oil.

Users simply put plastic into a large container through a hole at the top of the machine.  The trash does not have to be broken down; you just put it in as is.  With the press of a button, the temperature inside the container rises, the plastic melts, and it becomes a liquid.  The Blest website indicates that the gases produced are water and carbon dioxide.  The oil produced is acceptable for burning as it is, but it can be further processed to make gasoline, diesel, and kerosene.  The CEO of Blest has travelled all over the developing countries to focus on teaching recycling and conservation.  

I think this is a great idea and hope it starts to catch on here in the states.  



  1. Well, if it didn't cost a fortune to buy one, I'd use it.

    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  2. I think that the cost would eventually be balanced by the benefits. Wonder what the hold is, beyond a reluctance to threaten how the oil industry profits from the status quo.

  3. Interesting!

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. I always feel guilty throwing even small pill bottles away. With this new technology, I wouldn't have to.

  5. How wonderful for us to have scientists like this.

  6. I recycle plastic and wish they had this machine at the recycling places. Good idea! Maybe there's some hope.

  7. I doubt even the anti-green people could find a downside to this.


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