Some people may not know this, but plastic is made from oil. But once it has been molded into an object, the only traditional way to recycle plastic has been to collect it, separate it into the various types of plastics, grind it, and mix it with virgin plastic to mold it into another plastic object. In most countries, the overwhelming majority of plastic ends up in landfills, where it can take thousands of years to decompose and break down.
This video demonstrates a device invented by a Japanese scientist that can take almost any type of plastic, melt it down, and convert the gasses emitted back into oil. It appears to use a type of distillation process, similar to an alcohol still, to accomplish this. In other words, you could call this device a plastics still.
Akinori Ito is the inventor of this device. Akinori’s oil conversion device converts one kilo of plastic to about one liter of oil. The oil can be further processed and used for just about any application where oil is used today, including gasoline, diesel and kerosine fuels. It can also be used as a lubricant for autos and other devices requiring oil lubrication.
The real question is, “Why haven’t we heard about this device?” The video was posted on YouTube on April 13, 2009. It has received well over 3 million views since then, but I have never seen mention of the device anywhere else.
In many areas of the USA and cities around the world, finding usable landfill space is a growing problem. it has to be in reasonable proximity to the city that generates the trash, cannot be in a location that has the potential to pollute groundwater, cannot be located near rivers or lakes, and must have nearby fill available to cover the trash to prevent the spread of disease and to start the decompositon process. Plastic, and particularly plastic water bottles, take up a lot of the limited space. Recycling is a better option, but is not practiced in most areas.
Kudos to Akinori Ito for creating this useful device. If I can find any updated information about this invention, I will post it.