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You are hereHome › Academic Departments › Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology › Programs › Plastic Harvest ›
Plastic Harvest Status Report
Plastic Recycling (posted September, 2010)
We have always encouraged the recovery of value from plastic items via existing recycling systems whenever possible. According to knowledgeable sources, there are 30,000 formulations of plastics out there. Due to these myriad plastic types, one plastic stream can become a contaminant to the other. In addition, many plastic recyclers don’t want to deal with the dirt that is prevalent especially on agricultural plastics. However, we continue to be committed to recycling, and work with many different organizations to this end, including the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center.
Plastofuel® (posted September, 2010)
Our research team is still working to commercialize the Plastofuel® machinery. On our research floor, things are moving along. From an outsiders vantage point, however, one still is unable to purchase a Plastofuel® production system. We'll get there eventually, thanks to encouraging e-mails and letters we have received from all over the world. Over the years, we have landed some research funding allowing us to continue project development. Several student teams have helped refine portions of the design as well. This fall with the help of eager students, we will be working on a special cutting device to sever the robust plastic extrusion into easily stored, transported and metered fuel nuggets.
High-Temperature Combustion (posted September, 2010)
Seven years ago, we started working with a Korean firm that had developed a very clean burning plastic-derived fuel burner for heating greenhouses and other large structures. The firm was called GR Technologies Company, Ltd. Now based out of Sharpsburg (Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania, the company is called Eco Clean Burner Corporation. This firm is seeking funding partners to commercialize the heat recovery system in North America. There will be no big leaps until they are financially on a good footing. If you are interested in investing in this firm, drop Jim Garthe a line and he’ll put you in touch with their officers.
Bridges or Barriers? (posted September, 2010)
Our biggest hurdle to overcome is the wasteful American lifestyle and its dependency on oil, coal and natural gas…make that our dependency on theconvenienceprovided by oil, coal and natural gas. It is our belief that as a society we need to look at plastics not as a trash but as a resource...as a hydrocarbon fuel just like the others.
We have met the enemy and it is us.