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Plastic2Oil to Convert Waste Plastic to Fuel

Andrew Burger headshotWords by Andrew Burger
Leadership & Transparency

JBI, Inc., developer of a patent pending Plastic2Oil 'plastic-to-oil' technology, will be converting waste plastic by-product from a Rock-Tenn Co. mill into diesel, gasoline and off-gas products, including methane, ethane, butane and propane, according to an exclusive, 10-year agreement the company announced yesterday.

Plastic2Oil processors will convert waste plastic at Rock-Tenn paper mills and Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) into a "near diesel fuel"- diesel combined with lighter fractions of gasoline - as well as "mine" and process plastic from RockTenn's plastic-filled monofill sites. Financial and other details of the contract were not disclosed.

Plastic2Oil's patent-pending process converts nearly 90% of the hydrocarbons in reclaimed plastics into liquid fuel, according to JBI. Eight percent is converted into an off-gas that is used to fuel the process itself. The remaining 2% residue has been certified safe for landfill disposal, but subsequent testing found that it has a heating value of 10,600 BTU/lb.
Thousands of pounds of waste plastic are produced at Rock-Tenn's paper mills and MRFs each day. The company has been storing this waste material by-product for several years. JBI management is focusing on getting the Plastic2Oil technology up and running at MRFs and mills given the ready availability of vast quantities of process feedstock.

Founder John Bordynuik and his team have been continually improving the Plastic2Oil conversion process and equipment since 2009 when Bordynuik began developing it with a laboratory desktop unit.

Today, the Plastic2Oil process produces approximately one liter of liquid fuel from each kilogram of waste plastic. An 1,800 pound load of waste plastic takes less than 1 hour to process and requires "non-contact" water and minimal electricity as the off-gas produced is used to power the process. The company has scaled the process up and is now working with 30-ton units.

"We are honored that RockTenn has chosen JBI to be its long-term partner in this venture and believe this provides further validation that we have a viable commercial process to handle not only the critical issue of waste by-product but also rising energy costs," Bordynuik stated.

"RockTenn has the industrial relationship and feedstock to support hundreds of Plastic2Oil processors. We anticipate a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties and intend to expand as quickly as possible.

"RockTenn currently has sites that can support clusters of processors. In preparation for this agreement, we have designed our processors to be modular 'plug and play' to allow rapid deployment across RockTenn's locations."

Andrew Burger headshotAndrew Burger

An experienced, independent journalist, editor and researcher, Andrew has crisscrossed the globe while reporting on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental entrepreneurship, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. He studied geology at CU, Boulder, has an MBA in finance from Pace University, and completed a certificate program in international governance for biodiversity at UN University in Japan.

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