Peter Brown demonstrates the pyrolysis machine.

A group of about 50 keen observers gathered around the pyrolysis demonstration that took place at the Alberta Care conference in Whitecourt, September 9-11, 2015. Jason Tanne, the founding partner of Resynergi was demonstrating the machine’s conversion of plastics to oil. The scientific name is pyrolysis, where the plastic decomposes under high heat (in an oxygen free environment), liquefies, gasifies and then that gas condenses and turns into oil. If you wanted to take the process one step further you could then run the oil through a distillation process to convert it into diesel fuel. Any of the residual left over from the plastic is minimal. Solid residuals left over are carbon black, which could be used in tire or rubber compound manufacturing. Any vapours are minimized by the high heat and any gas that is released does so through a filter that makes it safe to emit. Non-condensing vapours are passed through a catalytic scrubber which breaks it down to CO2 and water.

The demonstration was a mini-version of the machine Peter Brown at Durham Energy Recovery Inc. and Olds College plan to build in the comings months. The technology would convert four tons of plastic a day into diesel. The project timeline update is that the plant is about six months from completion, then nine months for Alberta Environment to certify after that.