TODAY’S PLASTIC TOMORROW’S BIO DIESEL Research is on to find out Fuel from waste especially from Plastic discards. Scientists world over are spending their precious time knowledge on this vital research. Mr. Richard Gross, Professor of Chemistry at Poly technique University in Brooklyn has taken different approach:- Here a ‘fuel latent’ plastic is used is primarily for packaging like ordinary plastic. When it becomes waste it can be converted into a substitute diesel fuel. Thus the new fuel latent plastic has dual roles, first as a packing material and second as substitute diesel. The process is still not reached enough to be commercially viable. Pentagon is using huge quantity of packaging materials to ship to soldiers at remote bases of their requirements. Pentagon was impressed with the new technique to sanction $ 2.34 million for further research. Professor Gross uses some ‘plant oils’ to make ‘bio diesel’ and then into ‘bio plastic. The plastic so obtained is treated with a naturally available ‘enzyme’ to convert and break down the plastic into fuel. The enzyme works in very mild conditions. ‘Cutinase’ an enzyme is being released by parasites while eating through the shiny surfaces of green leaves. The parasites can suck nutrients from the inner parts of the leaves. Thus the natural enzyme is obtained. DNA 2.0, a company engaged in gene-splicing took some DNA from the parasites and spliced into a Bacterium called ‘ecoli’ to produce the enzyme on mass scale. The ‘ecoli’ reproduces more readily than the original parasite. Now, conversion stats:- The plastic is made into shreds by a shredder.
The small particles are immersed in the water. A small quantity of enzyme is mixed in the water. Leave the process for about 5 days. Now you will observe bio diesel floats aloof on the top of the water. For road use in USA the bio diesel must undergo further chemical treatment to meet environmental protection norms. But it is believed that the bio fuel can be used in a diesel generator to produce electricity. According to Darpa a soldier on average generate more than 7 pounds of plastic waste daily. To transport and remove such huge waste, personnel fuel and vehicles are being engaged involving exorbitant cost. Pentagon feels that even some energy is lost in the processing of the waste plastic, it will result in enough electricity for the use by a military base. This programme is named by the Pentagon as THE MOBLE INTEGRATED SUSTAINABLE ENERGY RECOVERY PROGRAMME. A Spokesman for Darpa says that this project even ’not real technical’ is in preliminary stage. As far Pentagon, this plastic will benefit the Defense Establishment, first as a Packaging material and second as a fuel. Another advantage obtained from this programme is that the costly disposal of plastic waste has given way to a very simple and inexpensive disposal system. *******