A pilot plant using plastic-to-fuel technology supplied by Natural State Research Inc. will open in California by year's end.
The pilot plant will be located in Orange County, according to Moinuddin Sarker, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Stamford, Conn.-based NSR.
Sarker, who holds two patents on the technology, declined to provide more details about the licensee. A recent NSR news release said the licensee signed the agreement in August and will pay a $5 million advance fee and its own construction costs.
Royalties from high-octane fuel produced by the process are expected to be between $3 million and $5 million annually, officials said in the release.
NSR's technology is a thermal cracking process that, according to Sarker, is different from pyrolysis-type plastic conversion methods being marketed by several firms. He said the NSR process has lower energy inputs and produces a high-octane liquid fuel that can be used in any internal combustion engine. Each ton of plastic scrap processed by the technology can produce eight or nine barrels of fuel.
The NSR process can handle any type of plastic scrap but mixed types are better for the technology, which doesn't use any chemical catalysts, Sarker said by phone.
The technology also can reduce plastic waste and our dependence on foreign oil, he said. National franchising could create as many as 100,000 new jobs, added Sarker, who taught at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec before joining NSR in 2005.
In December, Sarker will be honored as 2010 Renewable Energy Innovator of the Year by the Association of Energy Engineers. The award will be presented at the World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington. AEE annually awards individuals and organizations that achieve prominence by promoting energy engineering and management.
NSR was founded in 2003 by environmental entrepreneur Karin Kaufman, who also owns three other green-themed businesses. Kaufman also is NSR's president and chief financial officer.