Researchers at Northeastern University claim to have designed an apparatus that can convert plastic waste into clean energy without releasing harmful emissions. Look for innovative ways of converting waste in to energy throughout the decade. R.C.J.
Here's what the researchers say about their own work: Student researchers at Northeastern University have designed an apparatus to convert plastic waste into clean energy without releasing harmful emissions.
Under the leadership of Yiannis Levendis, distinguished professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, a team of undergraduate and graduate engineering students developed a waste combustor, which breaks down non-biodegradable plastics to create an alternative source of fuel. Their prototype was featured at the fifth annual MIT Energy Conference this past March. The team worked for nine months on the research, which, for the undergraduates, was their senior capstone project. Self-sustainability is the key to the double-tank combustor design. Plastic waste is first processed in an upper tank through pyrolysis, which converts solid plastic into gas. Next, the gas flows to a lower tank, where it is burned with oxidants to generate heat and steam. The heat sustains the combustor while the steam can be used to generate electric power...
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