Plastic Recycling - Energy Unit by Ecoreps
The most common form of rubbish is plastics and therefore plastic recycling is a key component to waste reduction. Plastic makes up around 30% of all rubbish collected. This includes plastic bottles, containers, plastic wrap, packaging, electronic goods, car body parts, etc.
Plastics are polymers made from oil, which is a carbon-rich raw material. Therefore plastic contain large amounts of carbon compounds. This makes plastic recycling through the TRU more attractive economically. The high level of embodied energy stored in plastic waste is suitable for power generation, and other energy outputs. 1 TRU plant can process up to 3 ton of plastic and other rubbish per hour without the need to separate out all of the various plastic types. All of the waste is simply shredded and then fed directly into the TRU. The waste can also be peletised for greater efficiencies prior to feeding into the TRU plant.
Plastic recycling often refers to the collection and reuse of only certain types of plastics, leaving others such as plastic bags, bin liners, plastic wrap as un recycleable. The high processing costs associated to the sorting and recycling of plastics brings into question the economic benefit of recycling compared to the manufacture of plastics from oil. The TRU, on the other hand does not differentiate between these different forms of plastics. The plastic can be mixed with other waste streams and doesn’t need extraction from the rest of the garbage. It is all shredded together, pelletized, and then fed through the TRU.
The desired output from a TRU processing plastic waste is thermal energy. This energy is likely to be used in steam and power production.
Most plastic is non-biodegradable and will remain in the environment for hundreds, or thousands of years. Plastics are also lightweight, and tend to float in our oceans. There have been 2 large “plastic Islands floating in the Pacific Ocean, kept in place by the circular movement of the oceans currents.