In a pilot test the Dow Chemical Company has measured how plastic that has been reused and recycled to the full extent can be used as fuel for an ultimate end-of-life option instead of going to a landfill for disposal.
Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) scrap film, as commonly used for packaging food and consumer products, generated in one of Dow’s extrusion laboratories was used in the test.
96 % of available energy was recovered after incinerating 578 lb of used plastic in a kiln at one of the companie’s waste treatment facilities. The energy recovered was equivalent to 11.1 million Btu’s of natural gas. The trial was completed in compliance with regulatory permits.
The U.S. lags behind many other countries that capture trapped energy from recovered materials. The next step now is to find a way to scale up this more sustainable practice in the United States.
- Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich, USA