Another week, another plastics-to-oil program.
This time, Canadian investment firm 310 Holdings Inc. plans to have a commercial-scale, plastics-to-oil conversion unit operating in or near Niagara Falls, Ontario, by the end of October, according to company spokeswoman Katie Matkowski.
Half of the machinery needed to build the unit already has been delivered, Matkowski said by phone Sept. 23. The unit melts down scrap plastic and using a proprietary catalyst converts the plastic into an oil similar to diesel fuel. The 310 Holdings process can extract a liter of oil for each kilogram of plastic processed.
The commercial unit can process up to 20 tons of scrap plastic a day, Matkowski added. If the technology is successful, Niagara Falls-based 310 Holdings plans to license the technology to other communities, she said.
310 Holdings is majority-owned by computer engineer John Bordynuik, who also owns John Bordynuik Inc., a Canadian media-recovery firm also based in Niagara Falls. Other 310 Holdings projects include methods to convert both tires and magnetic tape into oil.
In August, the firm bought communications and cable gear distributor Javaco Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, for $150,000 and 2.5 million shares of 310 Holdings stock.
310 Holdings also is in the process of acquiring an undisclosed U.S chemical company that makes ecofriendly products, according to a 310 Holdings news release. That deal is expected to close by the end of September.
The 310 Holdings project comes on the heels of the Sept. 16 opening of the Envion Oil Generator, a plastics-to-oil unit unveiled by Envion Inc. in Derwood, Md., just outside Washington. Officials with Washington-based Envion said they expect to have 75-100 of the units in operation worldwide by this time next year.
Converting plastic to oil via pyrolysis is not a new approach, but it has been gaining attention in recent years.
Polyflow Corp., a recycling-technology firm based in Akron, Ohio, has been working to commercialize similar technology and has supply pacts in place with the city of Stow, Ohio, and with Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio.
Polymer Energy LLC a joint venture between materials-science firm Northern Technologies and inventor Zbigniew Tokarz currently has three pyrolysis units operating in Asia.
Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., also has developed a method by which waste plastics are melted down into a material that can be used as an additive in burning coal.
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