What is Plastic? – Entrade Terminology Series

Based on its term definition by Dictionary.com, Plastic (or Plastics) is any of a group of synthetic or natural organic materials that may be shaped when soft and then hardened, including many types of resins, resinoids, polymers, cellulose derivatives, casein materials, and proteins: used in place of other materials, as glass, wood, and metals, in construction and decoration, for making many articles, as coatings, and, drawn into filaments, for weaving.

According to a CNN report, out of 8.3 Billion metric tons of plastic produced worldwide, only 9% is recycled. Entrade’s power plant uses biomass combined with plastic waste, to turn them into gas replacement. When plastic goes into a small reactor, it burns at extremely high temperature, breaking down its polluting particle. The result will be hot gas that is then used to create electricity.

How does Plastic recycled? It is not easy, but possible. Here is how: (Source: https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/recyclingplastic.php)

  1. Collection
    Plastics are available in a number of forms for example plastic containers, jars, bottles, plastic bags, packaging plastic, big industrial plastics just to mention but a few. Tons and tons of scrap plastic are collected and sent to a collecting yard where they are then packed and transported to plastic processing plants.
  2. Sorting
    Different plastic items are sorted by their resin content and color. Contaminates should be eliminated. There are specially designed machines that help in sorting of the plastics according to their resin content. Then the recycling mill sorts the scrap plastic by symbols at the bottom of the plastics.
  3. Shredding
    After sorting the plastics, the next step is to cut the plastics into tiny chunks or pieces. Heavier and lighter plastic flakes are separated using a specially designed machine.
  4. Cleaning
    After a complete separation, the flakes or chunks are then washed with detergents to remove the remaining contamination. The plastic flakes are then subjected to moderate heat to dry.
  5. Melting
    The dry flakes are melted down. There is specialized equipment designed to melt down plastic without destroying them.
  6. Making of pellets
    After the melting process, the plastic pieces are then compressed into tiny pellets known as nurdles. In this state, the plastic pellets are ready for reuse or be redesigned into new plastic products.

In this case, Entrade uses the pellets to produce energy instead of turning them into another plastic products. Our power generators convert plastic materials mixed with biomass into electric and thermal energy, that could be used to power up buildings, houses, machines, heating, and cooling system, as well as water distillation system.

Why is recycling plastic difficult?

The plastic products we know are not consistent in their resin composition, color, transparency, weight and size.

Some recycling facilities consider certain pigmented plastics contaminants to the recycler stream, and subsequently dispose of them instead of recycle them. This issue is extenuated with the low cost of oil, as that makes it even harder for recyclers to compete with the price of virgin polymers.

Manufacturers who hope to ensure their post-consumer packaging can be properly recycled should consider the pigment and translucence of their bottles and containers. Even a PET container may not be recycled by some recycling facilities if it is colored and/or opaque.

Information Source.

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