August 31, 2010

Plastic to Oil for Real?

Hey, this is another short article that I posted first on Technorati and can be found at Is Plastic-to-Oil for Real?  It is nice to have an editor besides myself, but the limited subject matter and length restrictions are the trade-off. For that reason I'll have some longer posts that will be available only on my blog. So enough with that and onto the true subject matter.

As you may or may not be aware, there is a video going around about a Japanese man who has created a machine that can turn garbage plastic into oil.The video can be seen on Youtube and at first glace it reminded me of the Eternal Cycle of Free Energy 2010 Using Salt Water video that was popular a while ago.

There does seem to be a great difference between these two videos though. The Eternal Cycle of Free Energy is just a video made to entice people to waste money on numerous products based on fuel cells and easy ways to make different chemical fuels from

The machine itself probably works in doing what it advertises, separating the hydrogen and oxygen, but it can be guaranteed that it doesn't do so for free or for a net energy gain. The water doesn't separate itself into hydrogen and oxygen; it takes some input of energy to do so, and as the second law of thermodynamics tells us, energy put in will always result in less energy out. There is always a net loss in energy transfer; often this is in the heat that is given off.

That has been the issue that has plagued perpetual motion machines and the reason why free energy doesn't exist. Which brings up the second video, which isn't trying to offer a free lunch. What it is offering is to take yesterday's leftovers and turn them into steak. The only solid information I could find on the Japanese plastic-to-oil machine were from Big Think and Our World 2.0, but numerous people have blogged about it and it seems to just be making the news rounds now.

Both pages note that plastic waste has a high energy value and that value has begun to be captured. Number 2, 3 and 4 plastics can now be put in a machine to create oil that can be used just like regular oil. To top that off, it does it for "20 cents’ worth" of electricity.

Just like the free energy idea, it seems too good to be true, but unlike the other video, it holds up to scrutiny and doesn't violate any physical laws. In fact, Blest isn't the only company with a machine that is able to turn plastic waste to oil.

The Envion Oil Generator does exactly the same thing, but it may not be as efficient. It turns plastic into oil for less than $10 a barrel, so the days of throwing plastic into the trash or burning it might be quickly running out. These are the encouraging breakthroughs that the environment needs and in fact they are so groundbreaking that it creates some hard work to determine the scams from the real progress.

Thanks for reading,
-the moral skeptic


  1. It would be too good to be true: There HAS to be a catch. Someone please tell us what the catch IS!
    Ashcroft, BC

  2. I wish I knew what the catch was, but I couldn't find it. If anyone has any information they want me to look at just leave a link.

  3. "energy put in will always result in less energy out." This statement need some tweaking... If i put the energy of a spark into an oxygen/gasoline mixture, I will get much more energy out than I put in!

  4. "energy put in will always result in less energy out." This statement need some tweaking... If i put the energy of a spark into an oxygen/gasoline mixture, I will get much more energy out than I put in!
    You're statement shows a slight misunderstanding. The gasoline must be included as "energy in", not just the spark. That is TOTAL energy in, of whatever form, will always be more than the energy you get out. Even with nuclear energy this is true, although with nuclear you are counting the energy after turning mass into energy, which results in a huge amount of apparent energy, but it still follows the same physics law of energy out will be less than total energy in.

  5. Yeah, of course its a misunderstanding if that gasoline isn't counted as part of the input, which is how many a charlatan shows energy production.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Plastic is high energy. This is not an energy situation. There is very little difference in energy levels between oil and plastic. It is a change of form, something like changing a shed into a house or a house into a shed. They are both made of the same basic building material, just arranged differently.

  8. Regarding the Japanese video,he didn't say what happens to all the junk that gets mixed with the plastic. I'm still a skeptic. But my biggest issue with him is his claim that this is going to save on CO2 emissions. It's going to save landfill space but would not this oil still emit CO2 emissions?

  9. It can be done and it is real. Now let me a bit explain more about it. PET cannot be used in that process. The process taking place through pyrolisis.
    45% are turned in to Oil which can be further processed to make it even better.
    30% is turned in to so called Black Carbon, which can be processed in to pellets and used in Burners, or turned in to color plastic which can be used for making cable etc.
    10% is about waste Gas which is returned back to the burner who produces the heat for the transformation of the Plastic.

  10. provide the good and best material Plastics to Fuel, Plastics to Oil, Plastics 2 Oil, Plastics 2 Fuel, Tyres to oil, Tyres to fuel, Landfill diversion, End of life plastics and Non-recyclable plastics.

  11. I see lots of propaganda saying the Blest machine is a hoax. Well, if you look at the fine print it's apparently not. Then they say it's too costly, the energy required is greater than the return. But no one mentions renewable energy, you know, solar cell energy used to reconvert the plastic to oil? That cost factor return would go down and down. Frankly I personally don't give a damn how efficient it is, I just want to see the garbage gone and not turned into smoke/smog/pollution and death or choking our oceans. So what's the real deal? Petrochemical trolls need no reply.

  12. I like your comment, and I should write something about why I think your correct. I used to be against recycling because I thought the Penn and Teller Bullshit episode was pretty convincing. I have since softened and changed my mind, this is because some projects are worth starting even at a great cost if there is potential for long term benefit and the potential for those costs to go down.

    Given that, even if the machine doesn't work, with the lack of alternatives it might be a good place to start and than it can be worked on for becoming more efficient.