Plastics are an important part of our daily life, starting from the tooth brush, water bottles, plastic bags -- it is as important as air.These plastics are posing a serious threat to the environment due to lack of proper recycling and waste treatment measures. Especially in India where open dumping and open burning of plastics is common. Open burning of plastic leads to release of many poisonous and carcinogenic gases. Here I am recommending a new method to eliminate the threat of plastic waste.
In simple words, we are burning plastic inside a microwave oven. But as we know plastic does not absorb microwave radiation so we add carbon which has high dielectric permittivity and hence facilitates pyrolysis. What makes this different is that rapid heating occurs and there is less residue and as a bonus the oil obtained by condensing the condensable gases has fuel value.The non-condensable gases has no carcinogenic components unlike open burning and has more calorific value. Moreover, the time required for pyrolysis is 1-2 hours while it takes more time in conventional pyrolysis. Since it is rapid, product distribution is much better.
This is because in microwave heating there is energy conversion instead of energy transfer. So no need to heat up the container before heating its contents.
Scale-up studies are going on and development of this technology can be advantageous in the present scenario where plastic poses a major threat to our environment.