Swindon, 19th January 2017 – Currently, global production of plastic surpasses 300 million metric tons per year and is forecast to double over the next 20 years. Only 10% of the waste generated is recycled with the remainder being incinerated, sent to landfill or left to pollute land and sea*. If the current trend continues the world faces an ever-increasing problem. Swindon-based Recycling Technologies Ltd has developed a process which can significantly boost the recycling rate of plastic waste to produce Plaxx®, an innovative new fuel meeting the MARPOL Regulations for marine use.
Adrian Haworth, Recycling Technologies Sales and Marketing Director explained “the hub of the process is the RT7000 machine which converts the plastic waste into a clean and more sustainable ultra-low sulphur hydrocarbon substitute which can be used as an alternative for fossil-based Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO).”
This comes on the back of the International Maritime Organisation declaring January 2020 as the implementation date for the ‘global sulphur cap’. This requires all ships to use fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5%. Haworth adds “there is very little sulphur in the plastic used to produce Plaxx and therefore it easily meets the requirements for the forthcoming legislation. In addition to the environmental benefits it also provides cost benefits to ship operators.”
Following development in the laboratory Plaxx has been produced on a commercial scale in RT’s large-scale pilot plant and the first commercial machine will be available in 2017. The technology is very scalable and machines will be mass manufactured allowing easy installation on site, with the raw materials to produce the fuel usually sourced within a short distance of the plant.
To assess and accredit the performance of Plaxx as a marine fuel RT commenced work in July 2016 with Ricardo Ltd, Lloyds Register, World Fuel Services and University of West of England. A series of tests are taking place using Ricardo’s Atlas II research engine to evaluate the performance of the fuel against diesel and HFO. Further tests on RT’s own engine will be reviewed and assessed by Lloyds Register to ensure that Plaxx complies with the ISO 8217 Marine Fuel Specification.
The results will be available mid-2017 and following this the fuel will be trialled in an operational environment. The team is looking for partners to assist with this and would like to hear from vessel owners operating craft using HFO for propulsion or power generation.
If you would like to discuss participating in the trial or require further information on Plaxx® please join the ‘Clean Marine Fuel’ Interest Group via the following link: http://groupspaces.com/CleanMarineFuel/join/
World Economic Forum, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and McKinsey & Company, The New Plastics Economy — Rethinking the future of plastics (2016, http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications).
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