Cold Climate Innovation partners with P & M Recycling to test plastic to oil machine
WHITEHORSE - A Japanese machine that vaporizes plastic and converts it to synthetic diesel is now up and running at P & M Recycling in Whitehorse.
Cold Climate Innovation (CCI), part of the Yukon Research Centre at Yukon College, will be testing the machine over the next year in the hopes that it will prove cost-effective and robust enough to take on the road to Yukon communities.
“We are incredibly pleased to have the first continuous-feed plastics to oil machine in North America, here in Yukon,” said Stephen Mooney, CCI director.
The machine can process 10 kilograms of plastic per hour to create 10 litres of synthetic diesel.
Pat McInroy, owner of P & M Recycling plans to use the diesel as heating oil for his 600 square foot operation over the winter.
"We will definitely create way more fuel than we need, so the next job is to find customers that are willing to try something new."
McInroy estimates the synthetic diesel will easily save the $18,000 he spent on heating oil last year. He will also save the labour costs of sorting and baling the plastic, and the cost of trucking it south.
"The vast majority of this plastic has zero value. It can be recycled, but not here, only by trucking it 1500 miles south and that costs me money every time,” said McInroy.
”This machine is creating a value-added product right here. It’s a win/win for the Yukon.”
In preparation for the arrival of the machine, McInroy has been seeking out additional sources of plastic from the town’s grocery stores and Northerm Windows and Glass. He now has two truckloads of plastic stockpiled at his Ray Street location and is running out of space.
Technicians from Blest, the Japanese company that created the machine, and a representative from E. N. ERGY, the North American distributor, have been in Whitehorse for the past week to install and calibrate the machine. They have trained McInroy’s staff and staff from CCI in the care, maintenance and operation of the machine.
Mooney is now one of those trained operators.
“The goal of the project is to determine the true cost of one litre of oil from this machine, including manpower and electricity. Then we need to see if the machine can survive transportation on Yukon’s roads to benefit other communities,” said Mooney.
The $175,000 cost of the plastic to oil machine has been jointly supported by Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) and CCI with P & M Recycling contributing new equipment and power upgrades to support the machine’s operation as well as staff, power and space for the yearlong project.
Cold Climate Innovation assists innovators in the development of commercial products and services that will contribute to the social and economic prosperity of the Yukon. It is one of six key programs at the Yukon Research Centre at Yukon College. The other five are: Technology Innovation, Northern Climate ExChange, Biodiversity Monitoring, Science Adventures, and Resources and Sustainable Development for the Arctic.
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