Sita to convert end of life plastic into car fuel

Sita to convert end of life plastic into car fuel
Sita, the waste company owned by France-based Suez Environnement, says it will build 10 plants across the UK to convert end of life plastic into diesel fuel. The company will commission the first plant in London by the end of 2011.

Each plant – Sita is aiming for 10 in total – will convert 6,000 tonnes of mixed waste plastic per year to produce four million litres of diesel. The company will build two to three conversion plants per year, depending on planning.

The fuel will primarily be used by Sita vehicles as well as bulk transport companies such as lorry firms, the company told European Plastics News.

Sita signed an exclusive agreement with Cynar to develop the conversion technology.

“The process we are using involves shredding or chipping the plastic, which is pre-melted,” said Stuart Haywood-Higham, Sita’s technical director. “We then apply a pyrolys process, which allows us to re-crack the waste into liquid.”

After the impurities are removed by a vacuum process, the resulting material is mainly diesel, he added. Any waste that is not plastic comes out as char.

Sita says it has not yet decided on total levels of investment but that Suez Environnement’s new venture fund, Blue Orange, will contribute. It has not received any subsidies as yet but may look for grants in the future, says Haywood-Higham.

“This is a financially viable project and we expect to make some profit, even though the focus of the initiative was to provide a tangible solution for customers,” he says.

UK-based Cynar specialises in converting mixed waste plastics into synthetic fuels and already has a plant in operation in Portloaise, Ireland. The company has a multi-country deal with Suez Environnement, whose subsidiaries will announce similar conversion deals at a later date, says Sita's representatives.


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