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Quoting:Agri-Plas Inc. in Brooks, Ore., is converting unwanted agricultural plastics into crude oil and shipping it to a refinery for commercial processing. How’s that for business acumen? Growers could potentially turn their used plastic from spring into heating oil for winter.
Agri-Plas accepts many types of plastics including nursery pots and trays, ground cover, seed sacks, plastic binder twine, triple-rinsed pesticide containers and greenhouse film.
The company recently delivered its first full tanker (8,200 gallons) of oil to a refinery in Tacoma, Wash., which translates to a final delivery of 196 barrels of oil.
“The fact that Agri-Plas has been able to take plastic that would otherwise go directly into the waste stream and convert it into a commercial product that can eventually be pumped into a gas tank is truly groundbreaking,” said Tim McCabe, director of the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department.
That is a fascinating idea. I looked at the companies website and there is no information on the convertng process. I wonder how they do it? Is there a patent on the process? What a boon for big cities - to be able to convert plastics picked up in recycle bins and create fuel for city cars and heating city buildings. This is definately smething to watch!
Let's hope the process turns out to be environmentally sound and profitable so that they will take more than just ag plastics. Plastics would no longer be litter if their was more recycle value. Someone might actually go scoop them out of the ocean if they could sell the stuff for energy use.
This is great news and I hope those folks that developed the process get rich to rival Bill Gates. There have been so many discussions here about the guilt of using plastic and I struggle with it daily. As technology progresses it would be a wonderful thing if it became economically feasible to recycle all of it. Landfill tipping fees have gone very high in some places so maybe it won't have so far to go to become an economic success. I'm very interested in hearing more about this.
Interesting think I heard on plastics - grocery bags specifically - is that some are biodegradable now. Largely plastics are linked hydrocarbon chains. The source for the hydrocarbons, if you follow the material back, is plants. You can even make plastic from used french-fry oil. No reason many plastics could not be a "green" material. How the processing is done is important. The types of green plastics you can make may be limited, but it certainly seems a good idea for that group.