Pune Municipal Corporation, India is planning on running a pilot project that will convert plastic into fuel for generators.
Even after banning plastic bags below 50 microns in thickness, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is up against a mountain of plastic waste in its jurisdiction.
The civic body has given a tentative nod for the project, to be rolled out by Rudra Environmental Solutions in Dhankawadi ward. The project will seek to convert 9000 kg of plastic a month into 5400 litres of fuel.
If successful, the project will be duplicated in all the 14 wards.
Data shows that at least 200 kg of plastic waste is generated a day in the jurisdiction of each ward, and that setting up a 300 kg plant could yield 180 litres of fuel a day.
“We have banned the use of plastic bags with thickness below 50 microns, but still a lot of plastic waste is generated a day in the city. We are unable to dispose of it; hence we have decided to undertake a project on trial basis for converting plastic to fuel,” deputy municipal commissioner Suresh Jagtap said.
He said the civic body would provide the required land for the project at the Katraj waste segregation ramp. “We will see the performance of the machinery for a few months and only then go for its implementation across the city.”
Rudra Environmental Solutions said that it has spent over two years of research and trials to create the Rudra Process, where-by non-degradable polymer waste is removed by gasolysis to generate Poly fuel from plastic waste.
Gasolysis is the decomposition of a condensed substance by heating. It does not involve reactions with Oxygen, or any other regents, but can take place in their presence
Trials have been successful in the disintegration of all kinds of plastic waste, including bottles, small micron bags, food wrappers, cable covers and even old tyres. The yield is claimed to be 50 to 55% of the plastic disintegrated.
The company believes that two of the key advantages of this process is that plastics do not need to be pre-sorted, and no harmful gases of effluent are produced.
Rudra Environment Solutions chairman Shirish Phadtare said, “We have sought land, water connection and power for the project from the civic body. The company will be responsible for collecting the waste, but will keep the revenue from the fuel. The civic body will incur no cost.”
Phadtare said the company had a similar plant at Jejuri, which was running successfully. It has now submitted proposals for such plants to various civic bodies in the state. “We have proposed that either the PMC can buy the fuel at an affordable rate or the company can sell it in the open market. The fuel can be used to generate electricity besides lighting up parks, gardens or even streets.”
He said the idea was to set up a number of small capacity plants across the city. “The plants in various ward offices would help in disposing of the plastic waste generated in the areas. We are also ready to buy plastic waste from rag pickers.”