You may have noticed recently that RT7000 modules have started arriving at Binn Farm, Scotland. But if you’re not an engineer, you may have asked yourself, what is a thermal cracker? How does it recycle plastic that other methods can’t? What other modules make up the RT7000?
To explore those questions, we have recently shared explanations and images that illustrate the role that each module plays in the RT7000 recycling process through our social media channels.
Here, you will find all the posts from the RT7000 modules series compiled together, giving a complete picture of how the RT7000 operates.
Module #1 – The thermal cracker reactor
You’ve likely already heard something about the module, as it was recently delivered to our site in Binn Farm, Scotland. This module uses a fluidised bed made up of a sand-type material that operates at high temperatures.
The energy for thermal cracking comes from this hot sand-type material, which breaks up the long-chain molecules found in mixed plastic waste into a vapour of short-chain hydrocarbons. This hydrocarbon vapour is carried to Module #4 for distillation into products.
Module #2 – The regenerator
Like Module #1 (The Thermal Cracker), this vessel has already been delivered to Binn Farm, Scotland and is ready to take its place as part of the RT7000. But what does it do?
The Regenerator works together with the Thermal Cracker (Module #1), providing it with the heat and energy required for the cracking process. It does this by combusting light hydrocarbon gases that are generated within the process. The Regenerator also provides continuous removal of char formed in the Thermal Cracker.
Module #3 – Heat recovery & flue treatment
This module cleans up the products of combustion that are passed into it from The Regenerator (Module #2) through a treatment process.
The treatment process within this module ensures a high standard of conditioning and filtration of flue gas from the Regenerator. This makes sure that gas is only emitted into the atmosphere after it has been carefully filtered in line with regulatory standards.
Module #4 – The product distillation unit
Hydrocarbon vapour produced in the Thermal Cracker (Module #1) is carried to this module, the Product Distillation Unit, where there is a series of distillation columns. Here, the vapour is distilled into Plaxx products, ranging from a wax to a liquid!
Module #5 – Light hydrocarbon gas reclamation
In this module, light hydrocarbon gas is separated from the distilled liquid products and circulated back to the Regenerator to be used as an energy source for the combustion process. This means the energy required for the thermal cracking process comes from the plastic itself, making the RT7000 highly efficient.
Module #6 – Plaxx feedstock transportation
Finally, the Plaxx is transported to its next destination. The heaviest fraction, a wax, can be blended and used in a number of applications, including waterproofing or even candles. The oil fraction can be used as a substitute to fossil-derived chemical feedstock and fed into a petrochemical process to make new virgin quality plastics.