Chemistry council touts plastics as energy

Sept. 13, 2013 at 8:03 AM   |   0 comments

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- The American Chemistry Council said non-recycled plastics could provide a source of energy if the right technology is in place.

The council solicited waste management consultant company Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, Inc. to review the potential for turning non-recycled plastics into energy.

A process called gasification uses high temperatures to convert waste into a form of natural gas that could be used in gas turbines to generate electricity. Supporters of the technology said it cuts down on landfill waste.

"Emerging technologies that can convert waste into electricity, higher value fuels and chemicals can help us capture plastics' high-energy value and put it to work to help power communities across America," Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council, said in a statement Thursday.

The council said there are no full-scale gasification facilities in the United States but nearly two dozen demonstration facilities are in service.

The 66-page report prepared for the American Chemistry Council said gasification might not be cost-effective.

"Facility development is challenged by public acceptance, perceived risk, and the challenge of having predictable economics comparable to current costs," the report said.

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