British scientists create a 'world first' method to turn plastic waste into ...

Scientists have created a 'world first' method which can turn unrecyclable plastic into fuel which could be used to power cars and homes. 

Experts at the University of Chester focused on materials which cannot be recycled, such as food packaging or plastic recovered from beaches.

They hoped to turn it into environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel and electricity while leaving no plastic remaining.

Developers claim this is the first time experts have worked out a method which uses all types of dirty plastic and leaves no residue behind. 

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A working demonstrator in Thornton Science Park in Cheshire (pictured) has proved a 'world first' method can turn unrecyclable plastic waste into electricity and hydrogen fuel

A working demonstrator in Thornton Science Park in Cheshire (pictured) has proved a 'world first' method can turn unrecyclable plastic waste into electricity and hydrogen fuel

The process involves taking the unsorted, unwashed plastic and cutting it into two-inch (5cm) long strips before it is melted in a 1,000°C kiln. Any plastic waste, including these ground up circuit boards, can be put into the machine and turned into electricity

The process involves taking the unsorted, unwashed plastic and cutting it into two-inch (5cm) long strips before it is melted in a 1,000°C kiln. Any plastic waste, including these ground up circuit boards, can be put into the machine and turned into electricity 

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Plastic, which can be dirty and mixed, is cut into two-inch (5cm) long strips  The air is squeezed out of it before it goes into a sealed glass rotating kiln at 1,000°C which instantly melts the plastic and gasifies it This so-called syngas has very low CO2 content and is now diverted into an industry standard system - called a pressure swing absorbtion (PSA) - for extracting hydrogen at two tonnes a day   The remainder of the gas is used to generate electricity through gas engines as the plant will produce electricity as a byproduct of hydrogen.

The process involves taking the unsorted, unwashed plastic and cutting it into two-inch (5cm) long strips before it is melted in a 1,000°C kiln.

Gases producing in this procedure are then converted into energy.  

It is hoped the patented technology will soon be able to power not just its own 54-acre plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, but 7,000 houses on the grid in a single day as well as 7,000 hydrogen-fuelled cars every two weeks in the UK.

The innovation, created in partnership with PowerHouse Energy, will then be rolled out across Asia to help eliminate plastic from oceans and beaches worldwide - with the Japanese government already interested, the firm claims. 

Professor Joe Howe, Executive Director of the Thornton Energy Research Institute at the University of Chester, said: 'The

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