At long last, nearly a year late, I can finally announce that my CP processor is up and running.
CP stands for Catalytic Pyrolysis and is the process that converts waste plastic into synthetic kerosene. My son Ruairi and I have been developing a catalyst that makes this a viable proposition for small scale producers. I am processing a batch every week and anyone who is interested in this new technology is most welcome to come along.
Prices for processors and catalyst will be announced soon but I am also planning to make plans available for those who wish to build their own processors,( basic plumbing and welding skills required.)
I will post some pictures and we will soon up load a video of the process on Utube and in the meantime I will be happy to answer any questions here.
I all in on this one, one question is it only kero?
Here is a picture of the finished kerosene fuel. This can be used in any central heating burner without adjustment. I have also used it in a hurricane lamp, a tilley lamp, a paraffin stove, a Refleks oilstove and a Kerosun radiant 36 room heater. (it burned well but was a bit smelly in the room heater)
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Here is the processor. As you can see it has a kerosene burner in the bottom to provide heat so it runs on its own fuel. The brick base is not necessary and future models will be all sheet metal.
The black pipe arrangement on the right is the condenser, fuel is collected from the bottom of the condenser.
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Hello Liam, that was fast!
The output is 75% kerosene and 25% naphtha. At present I have only one condenser so all the fuel comes out mixed and has to be separated. I plan to introduce a second condenser so that the kerosene and naphtha can be drained off separately.
Naphtha is the fuel content of petrol. However petrol contains a number of additives to enhance its octane rating, provide lubrication and detergent qualities. I ran a chainsaw and a strimmer on it with 2stroke oil added and ran an old Toyota on it briefly with a 5% biodiesel added for lubrication. More work needs to be done to investigate what is needed to upgrade naphtha to regular petrol.
Shame I've gas heating,I've certainly no shortage of plastic oil drums.
How much are you producing a litre for ?
Any waste product?
Great job,looks well,must get down to see it in action.
Also like the idea of it running on its own fuel,(no electricity costs) and being able to use the Naphtha with the 2 stroke machines,could be handy gardiners.
p.s Naphtha itself seems to hold a high price and used for lighter fluid, camping stove fuel,thinners and solvent to name but a few
I am very interested. We have a lot of plastic that could be used as feed stock.
Yeah, who doesn't! I throw away barrel after garbage barrel full of 4.5gal cubies from my oil pick ups.
I'd be curious to know how well this kerosene does at winterizing biodiesel. The concept of creating my wintering fuel from my waste cubies is very appealing!
Does the fuel have to be separated or can it be used in standard heating burner as is or blended with some bio to achieve the right flow consistency or would the burn characteristics of the naphtha throw it out of whack?
Once the HMPEs are cold filtered out, then the ~25% naphtha/~75% kerosene is excellent for blending into a cold temperature biodiesel mix. That's essentially the composition of the stale jetB I use for blending with biodiesel year round.
ill try to answer questions in order,
The cost per litre is very low, certainly less than the cost of Methanol and KOH used in making biodiesel. I have not finalized the price of the catalyst yet as I have to get bulk prices for the ingredients but my aim is to supply catalyst at a cost that a small producer could make the fuel at a total cost incl electricity etc for less than 20 cents per litre. A larger producer buying in bulk might be able to halve that price.
There is 5% waste product. It is a mixture of wax and carbon black. It has exactly the constituents of black boot polish. You can shine your boots with it but otherwise mixed with sawdust and spent catalyst it makes a very good fire log. Light it with a match and it burns cleanly in a stove or open fire for about an hour.
Naphtha, suitably packaged as stove fuel or brush cleaner has a very high value, but i imagine most people will want to use it as fuel.
The kerosene this winter showed slight sign of crystal formation around -3 degrees C. However if more naphtha had been left in the mix it would have better cold weather qualities. I have mixed 30% of the unseparated mixture with biodiesel and run my car on it. That mixture has exactly the same specific gravity as regular diesel.
The yeild of fuel is 1.1 litre per kg of waste plastic.
If you adjust the settings a kerosene burner can be set to run on the kerosene naphtha mix. it will burn very cleanly but you should be aware of dangers of storing naphtha/ kerosene. It is much more inflammable than plain kerosene.
Yes the crude fuel produced is identical to jet fuel but I wouldnt reccommend filling up your Gulfstream just yet.
its all very exciting John! what can and cant be used as feed stock and does different plastics give different end results? Can you use bioplastics? Also how much does a run produce?
Very exciting John, can't wait to see it.
You can use all forms of PE polyethylene, PP polypropylene, and PS polystyrene.
You cant use PVC, PET or any no 7 plastics.
The first 3 are the most common and account for 85% of waste plastics.
Im not sure about bioplastics, they are still uncommon so I havnt tried them yet.
At present the processor holds 15 kg of plastic and yields 16.5 litres of fuel. However I am developing a continuous feed that will increase the yield dramatically.
ok thanks, how long dose a run take approximately?
2001 F350 7.3 DI purchased new by me and it is the first DI experimented with and talked about on this forum.
Updated 1/2011 Alternative Fuel User Since 2003-vo is always in my fuel. Only one fuel tank. GPI/CIM-TEK spin on filterhead and 10 micron filter. Superchip. Hutch and Harpoon mods 2010. Diesel inline filter between tank and Airtex E2236 fuel pump (rated to 110 psi).Fuel pressure gauge. HOH for fuel line heat from tank to 12v lift pump. Two 12v 36" heaters, one before add on filter and one before OEM filter.
Cool weather mixes updated 2010. 100% vo to 70°. 66% to 35°. 50% to 10°.
It takes an hour to clean out and reload fresh plastic. The kerosene burner and the small electric band heater on the reflux column are automatically controlled by PID temp controllers so you have nothing else to do but collect the fuel. The fuel is produced over 4 to 5 hours.
I want to make it clear that I am not presenting this as a mature, fully developed system, there is a lot of room for improvement. My efforts so far have been concentrated on producing a cheap disposable catalyst and in this I have been successful but the process can be made much more efficient. I envisage major improvements can be made in several areas such as...
A "hot" condenser for naphtha collection and a "cold" condenser for kerosene.
Returning uncondensable gas back to the processor to provide some of the heat required for processing.
Improvements to the insulation and flue design to improve efficiency.
Automatic safety features.
automatic purging control.
And Im sure there are many others.
If you are looking for a system that you can buy complete, have installed and then you just press a couple of buttons and fuel pours out this is not for you. I hope to partner with a small group of practical people (welding and plumbing skills essential) who will work with me to develop this system into a viable medium scale business.
I realize that the insulation hides most of the working parts in the picture of the processor. so I have posted a very simple diagram of how it looks inside.
The process is very simple. The retort is loaded with waste plastic, fresh catalyst is placed in the reflux column. The retort is heated first to melt the plastic at 200C and then to boil the liquid at 385C. The vapours pass through the catalyst and are cracked into short chain fuel molecules. These cracked vapours are cooled and collected in the condenser.
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Congratulations John,I would love to it in operation. Michael cobh
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