Plastics to Liquids
Plastics to Liquids (PtL) technology can safely and reliably convert waste plastics into low-sulfur liquid fuels. This includes a pyrolyisis process which heats the plastics in an inert atmosphere, volatilizing a large fraction of the polymers. The result is a mixture of organic liquids called pyrolysis oil, non-condensable gases called pyrolysis gas, and solid carbon char.
The pyrolysis oil can be distilled to produce diesel, naphtha, and other fractions, similar to light crude oil. The pyrolysis gas is cleanly burned to heat the pyrolysis chamber with excess available for power generation. The solid char can be sold.
Several PtL different processes are in operation. EPR is licensing a proven catalyst-driven PtL process to make a synthetic diesel by selectively cracking mixed waste plastic polymers. The process is clean has a 65-70% liquid fuel yield.
On average, plastics have two to three times the calorific value of biomass, which makes them worth separating and processing separately from biomass.
Converting plastics to fuel represents the best use of the energy stored in waste plastics while keeping these material out of the environment
An integrated WtE/PtL facility shares a tipping floor and sorting facility, is self sufficient in energy, and can be sized to best accommodate the proportion of plastics (fossil carbon) to biomass (contemporary carbon) fuels in the waste stream.