Many different types of organic waste are produced from petroleum oil that can be remediated by the APS technology. The main ones that come to mind are rubber products like tires and plastics, but many other products are made from petroleum oil that can be remediated.
It is estimated that each year approximately 1.2 Billion used tires are added to the pile of 7 billion already landfilled worldwide. As the emerging countries such as India and China see an increasing demand for automobiles, this number is only set to grow.
These piles of tires pose an environmental hazard due to the toxic effect on the environment, especially if they catch fire. Add to that the fact that decomposing of tires takes centuries to millennia, if at all, used tires are proving to be a huge environmental problem when they contaminate soil and ground water. In the USA and Canada over 300 million used tires are generated each year and there is growing pressure to deal with this issue.
Used tires represent a primary feedstock for the APS technology to produce four high quality marketable by-products:
Plastic waste accounts for a large portion of the waste in our modern society, upto 12% in the United States according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In 2006 a record amount of 245 million tonnes of plastic was produced using up 4% of the world’s oil production. Over the years billions of tonnes of plastics have been dumped in the environment. Besides the amount of plastics, environmentalists have identified four most problematic plastics due to their environmental hazard and difficulty to recycle.
These are PVC in construction, polystyrene in food packaging, polyurethane in furniture and polycarbonate in electronics.
Traditional plastic waste disposal methods have proved to be inefficient if not detrimental to the environment:
Over 100 million tonnes of plastic waste has been dumped into the Pacific Ocean, creating a toxic soup of plastic particulates that is effecting sealife, birds and other animals, ultimately entering our food system and effecting our own health. Increasing worldwide regulatory and environmentalist opposition to plastic waste incineration means that this waste stream is becoming an ever larger liability for industry.
Plastic is a rich hydrocarbon product, providing an excellent feedstock for the APS technology. There were previous efforts at recycling plastics have proven difficult due to sorting issues, using the APS this is no longer required. The only extra step required is a catalyst for dealing with PVC’s.
Processing of plastics produces light fuel oil as a by-product, with smaller amounts of carbon produced: