Demonstration plant inaugurated to convert waste plastic into diesel

The plant, which has been set up at the Dehradun-based Indian Institute of Petroleum's campus, will be able to convert one tonne of plastic waste into 800 liters of diesel every day

By Sunderarajan Padmanabhan

New Delhi: Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday inaugurated a demonstration plant for converting waste plastics to diesel based on a technology developed by researchers at Dehradun-based Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP) of CSIR.

The plant, which has been set up at the Institute campus, will be able to convert one tonne of plastic waste into 800 litres of diesel every day. The fuel will be of automotive grade. It meets the specifications for use in vehicles. GAIL (India) has sponsored the technology development and provided technical support for the endeavour.

Using the IIP process, polyolefinic waste can be converted into diesel. This type of waste accounts for about 70% of total plastic waste in the country and is the least bio-degradable. The process is also environmentally friendly. IIP and GAIL have planned to roll out the technology nationwide after six months of operation of the pilot plant.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister applauded scientists involved in developing the technology and noted that last year he had witnessed the landing of a commercial flight was operated from Dehradun to Delhi with bio-jet fuel developed by IIP researchers. Of the two engines of the aircraft, one had the bio-jet fuel to an extent of 25 percent.

He urged IIP and GAIL to scale up the technology to develop a 10 tonnes per day plant and offered to implement it in Delhi to solve the menace of waste plastics in the capital. The minister also visited the Bio-Jet Fuel Plant and PNG Burner Facility at the institute. Developed with financial support from Petroleum Conservation Research Association, the burner provides better safety by eliminating flame lift and flash back and controlled loss of unburnt fuel to the environment. The technology has been licensed to 39 manufacturers for fabrication and sale. The burner has been tested. It has shown a fuel saving of 31 percent.

(India Science Wire)