Solar Power System to Convert Plastic into Fuel Invented by IIT Madras

“We thought that if the plastic can’t come to the industry, let the industry come to the plastic,” Selvaraj said. The team showcased its project on the occasion of the World Environment Day, hosted by the United Nations (UN) in New Delhi.

IIT Madras

A solar powered system developed by the scientists from IIT Madras can convert non-recyclable plastic into fuel that can be used in place of generators, furnaces and engines run on diesel.

The technology – which consists of a mobile unit that can collect and process waste – currently yields around 0.7 liters of fuel oil per kilogram of plastic, researchers said.

“India produces approximately 15,000 tonnes of plastic waste in a day. Centralised systems for plastic waste management cannot work to effectively deal with this much plastic waste on a daily basis,” said Ramya Selvaraj, a research student at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras in Tamil Nadu.

“We thought that if the plastic can’t come to the industry, let the industry come to the plastic,” Selvaraj said. The team showcased its project on the occasion of the World Environment Day, hosted by the United Nations (UN) in New Delhi.

“Our major proposition was instead of taking technology to waste, taking all the waste to a decentralized technology which is a very complex model in solid waste management,” said Aravind E S, a research student at IIT Madras.

“We found that the current plastic waste management systems were not working because of the logistics involved; there were cost and space requirements that could not be met,” Selvaraj added.

Divya Priya was the team leader. She was assisted by technical guide Professor Indumathi Nambi of IIT Madras and Chinnai based NGO, Sriram Narasimhan of Samridhi Foundation.

“We have approached the government and municipal corporations in multiple cities in Tamil Nadu to put up the small recovery units at the material faculty in all the wards for waste collection and management. This can reduce costs involved in transportation, dumping sites and increase the efficiency with which the waste is dealt,” Selvaraj added.

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