Plastic bags, the usual cause of drainage clogging in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, can now be converted into useful fuel like diesel, natural gas and other petroleum products according to the press release from the Illinois University.
According to the researchers, plastic bags were actually made from petroleum and this can be recovered through the process of distillation.
The researchers heated the plastic bags in an oxygen-free chamber, through a process called pyrolysis. The materials collected were converted into crude oil and mixed with different petroleum products.
After series of testing and analysis they found out that the mixtures met all the standard specifications required for diesel fuel use today. In fact the diesel mixture has equivalent energy content, a higher cetane number (a measure of the combustion quality of diesel requiring compression ignition) and better lubricity than ultra-low-sulfur diesel.