A Maryland man says he's created an emission-free convertor that turns plastic back into the oil from which it was created. And, he says in doing so, he can relieve the United States of its dependence on foreign oil. But, skeptics say, it's not an efficient use of resources.
Michael Han is the CEO of Envion. Han was featured in a radio news story on WAMU radio.
He's been collecting piles and piles of plastic waste – old water bottles, pulverized plastic flowerpots, and grocery sacks. All of this gets dumped into his invention – the emissions-free reactor that melts down the plastic. From that molten mixture Han says he can extract crude oil.
Han believes his system is a win-win for America. It keeps plastic out of the landfills and reduces dependence on foreign oil.
Envion's website states, "… The Envion Oil Generator™ can facilitate the management of millions of tons of plastic waste generated each year by transforming plastic waste back into its original form – crude oil."
A chemistry professor cited in the radio story says, "even if all the plastic in the world was converted to fuel, it wouldn't make a dent in the need for oil." One reason being, you just don't get much oil from a single plastic water bottle. Producing an average plastic water bottle requires only three ounces of crude oil.
Still, Han believes those three ounces are worth getting back.
From his website: "Envion's technology presents a cleaner, more efficient, and cost effective option that is both sensitive to environmental concerns and has the added value of recapturing energy that would otherwise be lost. The Envion oil to oil cycle presents us with the alternative that the world has been looking for."
Experts say that the best and most efficient use for plastic waste is to recycle it into new plastic – thus saving extra crude oil needed to produce new plastic in the first place.
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