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Power from Ocean Plastic Waste

Power from Ocean Plastic Waste

Every year, millions of tons of Plastic Waste enter the ocean forming a patch in remote parts of the ocean. These plastic waste pose danger to the ocean life and therefore needs periodical cleaning. Typically a ship is sent to the garbage patch to collect the waste and bring back to the port for processing.


A team of Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Harvard University suggests that these plastic could be used to power the ships sent to clean garbage. A report published by TechXplore on 2nd November 2021 shows that these researchers have published a paper on this subject. The paper is published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” and describes how Ocean Plastics could be converted to ship fuel.

Technology Process

According to the researchers, it would be far more efficient and greener to turn plastic into fuel for both a processing machine and uninterrupted operation of ships. They say that the plastic could be converted to a type of Oil by a Hydrothermal Liquefaction (HTL) process. Plastic is heated to 300-500 degrees Celsius at Pressure about 250 to 300 times that of sea level conditions and converted to Oil.

Plastic collection ships could be stationed at different sites around the large garbage patches and load plastic. By converting Plastic into Oil by a HTL Converter, enough Oil required for running the Converter and the Ship’s engine could be produced.

Read the complete report published by Bob Yirka at TechXplore here.

Disclaimer: The above information is provided only for public awareness – Credit: The Researchers and TechXplore

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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