Typically, we hear about how much oil we use and turn into plastics. When you think about it, it does make some sense that you could then turn plastics back into oil. And you can! Watch this:
Of course, the first thing that comes to mind after watching that is, “Why can’t they do that on a much larger scale, and eliminate a huge portion of our plastic waste?” And, here’s your answer. They can. In fact, here’s an article from 2009 about just such a plant. It’s called the Envion Oil Generator, and the company was getting ready to roll the plants out nationwide at the time. I haven’t heard anything about them since then.
It’s an intriguing idea, really. Take the plastics that we create, and then waste, and turn them back into usable oil. It would probably put a fractional dent in our oil use, but any little bit is better than none, and would help make the oil supply last longer. Of course, there’s the downside that emissions would continue that much longer too, but, frankly, I don’t see the dwindling oil supply as anything more than a epic disaster, so the longer we can offset that, the better. According to that article, the plant can create oil from plastics for about $10 a
gallon(oops. Where’s my proofreaders?) Barrel. You’d think the profit margin there would be well worth building a plant or two.
What do you think? Is it a smart thing to do? Useless?
photo credit: the extinction blues
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Since one barrel of oil is 42 gallons, the per barrel price is $420. At least now there is a target for economic viability. Now if the cost could be reduced by a factor of 10 to $42 per barrel, then it would be an economically viable source of oil and many companies might be interested in investing and creating a full network of collection centers, etc.
A valid point, cashflowmantra, however, please see my edit. I typed it wrong. According to the article, the plant produces oil from plastic for “less than $10 a barrel”. At that, you would think we’d be hearing all about these devices. I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, but it does seem a bit fishy.
That $10 per barrel figure is a lot better. You are right. Why don’t we hear more about these things. Is there a way that I can get one for my garage? I could collect plastic bottles from all my neighbors. Makes you wonder what the deal really is. Someone should be making a fortune.
Financial Success for Young Adults says
If anything will take money from the oil producer’s pockets they will just buy the technology just to prevent that from happening. Or they will generate propaganda to make the masses believe the worst about an invention like this. I would hope that it is released soon. And like cashflowmantra, I would take a personal machine as well.