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Mechanical Seminar Topics -INTRODUCTION

 Plastics are polymeric materials, a material built up from long repeating chains of molecules. Polymers such as rubber occur naturally, but it wasn’t until the development of synthetic polymers around 1910 that the polymers tailored to the needs of the engineer first started to appear. One of the first commercial plastics developed was Bakelite and was used for the casing of early radios. Because the early plastics were not completely chemically stable, they gained a reputation for being cheap and unreliable. However, advances in plastic technology since then, mean that plastics are a very important and reliable class of materials for product design.


Many may not realize throwing away plastic is throwing away a ready fuel source. Plastic is primarily petroleum and burns with high efficiency. Plastics are commonly made from fossil fuels which is usually an irreversible process, process have been developed which recycles plastic waste back into oil.

ThermoFuel technology is used to convert Waste Plastic into Liquid Fuel. ThermoFuel is a ten year old commercially proven technology with nine operational plants in Japan. Thermofuel is a process where scrap and waste plastics are converted into synthetic fuel. The system uses liquefaction, pyrolysis and the catalytic breakdown of plastics. The system can handle almost all the plastic that is currently being sent to landfills. A major advantage of the process is its ability to handle unsorted, unwashed plastic and its extremely high efficiency. A ThermoFuel plant can produce up to 9,500 liter of high-grade synthetic fuel from 10 tonnes of waste plastics, with systems ranging from 10 to 20 tonnes per day. This means that heavily contaminated plastics can be processed without difficulty.


The system consists of stock in feed system, pyrolysis gasification chamber, catalytic converter, condensers, centrifuge, oil recovery line, off-gas cleaning, and adulterant removal. Waste plastics are loaded via a hot-melt in feed system directly into main pyrolysis chamber. When the chamber temperature is raised, agitation commences to even the temperature and homogenize the feed stocks. Pyrolysis then commences to the point of product gasification. Non-plastic materials fall to the bottom of the chamber. The gas goes through the (patented) catalytic converter and is converted into the distillate fractions by the catalytic cracking process. The distillate then passes into the recovery tank after cooling in the condensers. From the recovery tank, the product is sent to a centrifuge to remove contaminants such as water or carbon. The cleaned distillate is then pumped to the reserve tank, then to the storage tanks.

Mechanical Seminar Topics
Mechanical Seminar topics – Structure of the System


 A comparison of the distillate produced from a commingled plastic mix compared with regular synthetic fuel has been conducted by gas chromatography, and shows good similarity between fuels. A key indicator of diesel is the Cetane Number which is analogous to the octane rating for petrol. Cetane is a measure of the ignition delay, that is, the time between injection into the cylinder and the moment of auto-ignition. This is most significant in relation to low-temperature start ability, warm-up, and smooth, balanced combustion.

Distillates with a higher cetane rating show increased power and superior performance characteristics. Ideal diesel will have a high proportion of hydrocarbon chains that are 16 carbon atoms. Thermo Fuel-produced diesel has a cetane number in the range of 57, similar to or higher conventional diesel, which averages 51-54. Most engine manufacturers recommend diesel fuels with a cetane number of at least 50.


The distillate is designed to operate in a diesel engine where it is injected into the compressed, high-temperature air in the combustion chamber and ignites spontaneously. Thermo Fuel is perfectly suited to any standard application.

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