Polish company has developed a plastic-to-fuel technology. This might be a solution to the waste problem
Globally, there are nearly 5 billion tonnes of plastic waste left unused. A partial solution to the problem could come in the form of a plastic-to-fuel technology. Plastic waste can become a source of fuel as effective as petrol and diesel fuel. A unique technology for its conversion has been developed by a Polish company. As required by a draft EU Directive, large-scale recipients will now have to use biofuels as well, which includes fuels made from plastic.
“The fuel we are producing is basically no different from petrol or diesel fuel. But it does bring some environmental advantages. First because in the manufacturing process we got rid of plastics which pollute the environment, oceans included. If we don’t do something about it, by 2050 we will be seeing more plastics than fish in the oceans. Secondly, as compared to the conventional crude oil, using plastic to produce one litre of fuel reduces carbon dioxide emissions by about 12.5 percent, quite as much as mining for crude oil which is also more emission-conducive, because plastics are already there. And thirdly, with plastic waste being produced locally, we don’t have to import crude oil from the Middle East or Russia, which also adds to reduced carbon dioxide emissions,” Susan Kim-Chomicka, CEO of Handerek Technologies, told the Newseria Innowacje information agency.
The technology devised by Handerek Technologies, a finalist at the national stage of the PowerUp contest, makes it possible to convert plastic waste into liquid fuels with a quality matching that of regular petrol or diesel fuel, for use with vehicles and machinery. During a low-pressure process, the technology turns plastic waste which cannot be recycled any further into fully refined fractions of diesel fuel and petrol.
Not only is this technology cost-effective and not requiring any subsidisation, but it is also self-sufficient energetically and does not generate any unusable waste as a by-product. A kilogram of waste can be turned into a litre of liquid fuel such as the EN590 diesel fuel, the EN228 petrol, and jet fuel. However, this recycled fuel will not be available at petrol stations.
“Even if we do convert the entire plastic stock, the resulting fuel will make up a mere three percent of the global petroleum output. That’s just not enough to be offered at petrol stations. However, the draft version of the EU Fuel Directive contains a provision stating that the biofuel category also covers fuels produced from waste, including plastic. In this situation, large-scale recipients will have to collect some of the fuel back from us, so that they can meet the future EU requirements,” Susan Kim-Chomicka notes.
With such laws in force, waste-to-fuel businesses are standing a chance not only to seize the market but also to bring about viable environmental benefits. As reported by Eurostat, each year Poland produces around 180 m tonnes of waste, adding to the total EU waste output of over 2.5 bn tonnes. In 2014, the Member States processed 2.3 bn tonnes of waste, including that imported to the EU. More than 47 percent underwent waste treatment other than combustion, and 36 percent more was allocated for recovery other than energy recovery or land filling. Still, however, much of this waste is left unused.
“There are nearly 5 billion tonnes of plastic lingering on land. Each year, almost eight million tonnes of plastic waste are dumped into the oceans. If we don't do something about it, our environment will perish. And since we use petroleum anyway, plastic fuels will help us diversify the sources of its origin, helping the environment in the process,” says the expert.
According to analyses by Zion Market Research, with an average annual growth of 4.5 percent, the global biofuel market will reach nearly USD 219 bn in value by 2022.
Polish consumers are more satisfied than Americans, with the customer satisfaction level being close to 80 percent
For six years the customer satisfaction index in Poland has grown by over 17 percentage points to nearly 78 percent, and it currently exceeds the customer satisfaction levels recorded in the USA and the United Kingdom. Service quality and its growing significance among businesses have had a tremendous impact on customer satisfaction. For the eleventh time the Customer Service Quality Star titles have been awarded to entrepreneurs recording the best results in this field.
Polish defence industry exhibits a significant growth potential. Polish army equipment tenders open huge prospects to companies.
As assessed by Krzysztof Krystowski, Deputy President of the Board of Leonardo Helicopters, the company which owns PZL-Świdnik, the Polish army and defence industry should undergo simultaneous modernisation. The participation of domestic entities in the army equipment tenders announced by the Ministry of National Defence (MON) is a huge opportunity. Given the scale and complexity of such contracts, their implementation will be based on strict cooperation between various Polish companies, with the potential cooperation between PZL-Świdnik and Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (Polish Armaments Group) in building a combat helicopter being an accurate example.
More and more devices are becoming part of the ‘smart home’ concept. No longer limited to TVs or tablets, they now also include laundry machines, vacuum cleaners and even refrigerators. New ways to communicate with household appliances connected to the Internet are currently being brought to us by voice assistants. Now all that it takes to turn on the TV or switch between channels is a single voice command. A group of secondary-school students from Poland have decided to try and merge the ‘smart home’ concept with voice controllability. ‘DAREK’, the project they’re working on, is addressed to disabled users to help them move around the house. Using voice control, not only will they be able to open the door or roll the blinds down but even stock up the fridge.