Some good old tree-hugging scientists have created a new process that converts plastic back into diesel-grade oil, combustible gas and pure carbon black. They do it by using a machine called Hawk-10, which cycles through 1,200 different microwave frequencies to separate all these materials. It seems to be quite efficient and it could be applied on a industrial scale. Demonstration video and more information after the jump.
According to New Scientist, the process created by Global Resource Corporation can get the following recycled materials from a 9.1 kilograms of ground-up tyres:
- 4.54 litres of diesel oil
- 1.42 cubic metres of combustible gas
- 1 kg of steel
- 3.40 kg of carbon black
The kilogram of steel comes from the metal parts of the tyres: the process automagically separates all the elements for recycling, so if you get copper wires, it will leave the copper on its own. The carbon black comes from the tires and it could be used as paint pigment, automobile tires, radar absorbent materials and printer toner.
In vaguely related news, completely drunk sources stationed in Dublin's Temple Bar area point out that the microwave frequencies of the iPhone will be able to multiply fish'n'chips and convert water into Guinness.
Giant microwave turns plastic back to oil [New Scientist]