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Turn Plastics to Fuel

After about eight years of research and development, a company in Akron, Ohio has decided to invest $20 million into converting plastics into fuel. According to an article by The Vindicator, Vadxx Energy will be building a plant in Akron (Northeast Ohio) that can convert 60 tons of scrap plastic into 300 barrels of petroleum products that will be used to make diesel fuel and lubricants.

The company originally wanted to build the plant built in Cleveland, but residents opposed the project, so they moved the idea to Akron. Akron will enjoy a 1% stake in the company’s plant profits in lieu of charging the company for its 5-acre piece of land. Residents also won’t have to endure virtually any change in pollution, since most of the pollution that occurs is inside a closed unit.

According to Russell Cooper, vice president of business development, and Bill Ullom, founder and petroleum geologist, odorless emissions from the plant would be equivalent to those emitted by a building boiler. Once the plastics are slowly melted, they turn to vapor, which is then cooled and condensed back down into liquid.

The plastics that Vadxx Energy is using are those that would otherwise be buried in the ground. “In Ohio alone, we are burying enough plastics to support five to 10 of these plants,” says Cooper.

The Akron-based company hopes this recycling move can expand their operations throughout the U.S. and possibly the world. The plant construction should be completed by the end of the year and will be overseen by Rockwell Automation, a company that has built similar plants in the U.K.