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@Kaustubh Katdare • 26 Aug, 2013 • 6 likes
Chemical engineer Chitra Thiyagarajan has obtained a patent for a device that converts plastic into fuel similar to diesel. Chitra set out to find a cheap as well as sustainable fuel source and finally found out that the waste plastic can be converted into usable fuel. After experimenting for about three long years, Thiyagarajan was applied for a patent in June 2013 and finally got an approval from Indian Patent Office. She was guided by C SM Sundaram (retired professor of St Xavier's College) who says that Chitra's success was a result of backbreaking work, persistence and 'dogged tenacity'.

plastic-fuel
Image Credit: Inhabitat​

Chitra kept on iterating the designs and researching all the time. It also required a lot of fieldwork. After the application for the patent was made, the authorities checked the machine for a period of over 2 months and ensured that the machine could be patented.

The pyro-plant that Chitra has designed accepts all plastics except PET bottles. The plastic is put in a chamber and heated in the absence of oxygen over chromium micro band heaters (remember your water immersion rods you used in hostel?). The temperature inside the chamber raises to 350 - 370 degree C. The gas generated passes into a different chamber with water coolants coils on either sides. The gas then gets pumped into another compartment half-filled with water. The fuel floats on the surface and can be extracted. The non soluble gas passes into a condenser and can be used as an alternative to LPG.

The biggest advantage of Chitra's approach is that it's not expensive and does the job in just three hours. A 5 kg unit costs about Rs. 75,000 and Rs. 3,00,000 for the 25 Kg variant. Each kg of plastic can produce about 800 ml of diesel. The fuel can be stored, but the LPG needs to be used quickly. It cannot be compressed and stored.

Chitra says that a similar process has been developed in China; but it's not as cost effective as the one invented by her. The invention has been approved by IIT Madras Chemical Engineering Professor, S Pushpavanam.

Write your thoughts below!

Via: TOI
@durga ch • 26 Aug, 2013 • 1 like are the by -products of this mechanism toxic?
@madhu27 • 26 Aug, 2013 • 1 like great invention👍.there should be clear idea about the safety for environment👀
@Kaustubh Katdare • 26 Aug, 2013 I remember Mrs. Alka Zadgaonkar was in the news for converting plastic into petrol (or something similar). That was several years ago. What I learn is that the method is slightly different from what's been already present in other parts of the world (correct me on this).

It'd be nice to have Chitra talk about her project with us. 😀
@Anoop Mathew • 26 Aug, 2013 Well, nice work! Hope we can actually get rid of all the toxins prior to production.

P.S: @Kaustubh Katdare: There should be a smiley that shows 'bows down in respect' like the one used on Skype '(bow)'.
@Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran • 26 Aug, 2013 Great salute to Indian genius.
So it was equivalent to 4liitres of diesel costs 75000INR
Its quite difficult to digest.
@Nayan Goenka • 27 Aug, 2013 Excellent Effort and invention. So now do the math. buy a 75000 gadget when you buy a car, and get 5 litres of fuel every 3 hours. Simple it seems. And waste plastic by god's grace is found here. Even if you have to go and purchase it some day, it will be for around 50₹ max for 5 kg. Means you already saved a lot.
@Kaustubh Katdare • 27 Aug, 2013
durga
are the by -products of this mechanism toxic?
No idea if there are any by-products other than the ones stated in the article. I'd believe that even if there are by-products, they aren't toxic; else they'd have been mentioned.

What impresses me is the efficiency she has achieved - 800 ml from each KG of plastic! Simply awesome!
@Nayan Goenka • 28 Aug, 2013 it sounds we have actually solved the fuel crisis on our own. We should not delay on implementing this technology and some company should come forward and start making the device for this. Also is this diesel suitable for the cars we already have on roads. We should get this in people's hands as soon as possible. This will help to develop country's stand in global economics.
@siva60 • 01 Sep, 2013 great invention.
@Ramani Aswath • 01 Sep, 2013 Pyrolysis is a well known process for recycling plastics. It is a good thing what Chitra has done.

The costing obviously does not take into account all that went into the prototype making. Nor does it cover possible design changes needed for a continuous running plant in terms of materials of construction, infrastructure for peripheral processes and so on.

More info on current scene.
Cynar Technology claims to get a yield of 19000 litres fuel from 20000 kg plastic waste:
https://cynarplc.com/cynar_technology.asp
This paper from the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ADVANCED ENGINEERING SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES indicates a conversion efficiency of nearly 86% by weight:
https://www.ijaest.iserp.org/archieves/15-Jul-15-31-11/Vol-No.9-Issue-No.1/4.IJAEST-Vol-No-9-Issue-No-1-CONVERSION-OF-WASTE-PLASTICS-(POLYETHYLENE)-TO-FUEL-BY-MEANS-OF-PYROLYSIS-021-024.pdf

This paper from Gujerat describes pyrolysis and other alternatives:
https://www.hindawi.com/isrn/renewable.energy/2013/902053/
@iyerChitraa Thiyagarajan • 07 Sep, 2013
Kaustubh Katdare
I remember Mrs. Alka Zadgaonkar was in the news for converting plastic into petrol (or something similar). That was several years ago. What I learn is that the method is slightly different from what's been already present in other parts of the world (correct me on this).

It'd be nice to have Chitra talk about her project with us. 😀
Hi..

The output of this product is called as an Green Distillate fuel. byproduct is an LPG which can be used to burn boilers. the residue which ca
@Kaustubh Katdare • 07 Sep, 2013 Welcome to CE, @iyerChitraa Thiyagarajan . It's a pleasure to have you with us.

@durga - hope you got your answer 😀
@iyerChitraa Thiyagarajan • 07 Sep, 2013
iyerChitraa Thiyagarajan
Hi..
Thank you so much for your wishes.
The output of this product is called as an Green Distillate fuel. byproduct is an LPG which can be used to burn boilers. the residue 2% can be used as greze.
@iyerChitraa Thiyagarajan • 07 Sep, 2013 My pleasure.. Mr. Katdare..
@iyerChitraa Thiyagarajan • 07 Sep, 2013 And am an Diploma ECE. and B.tech Information Technology... Sorry am not a chemical engineer.
@durga ch • 07 Sep, 2013 Dear Chitra!

Its an commendable achievement and its wonderful that you cleared few doubts we had.

@Kaustubh- yes, that pretty much answers
@Anil Jain • 07 Sep, 2013 The invention sounds great. Awesome work @iyerChitraa Thiyagarajan
I have a stupid question,

Per my limited knowledge Plastic is a byproduct of the crude oil. So am not sure how it will help, to first create the plastic and then create something that can be used as another byproduct of crude oil.

I know, next point that may come is this invention is to convert the waste plastic into fuel. Per me, recycling waste plastic in fresh plastic will take lesser toll than converting it in usable fuel. That way, whatever crude oil we will save in creating new plastic can be used as fuel, does that make sense at all?
-CB
@Zolynel Erazo • 26 Sep, 2013 After reading this article I tried searching for the patent itself. But there is no registration for Chitra Thiyagarajan in the indian patent office. @iyerChitraa Thiyagarajan could you please provide the number or the DOI for your device. I havent been able to find a scientific paper or patent that contains prove of this being approved. thanks
@TURNOMILL • 17 Oct, 2013 After reading this article I am impressed and put one of the unit for the use and test it. I want to know the contact address
@syed Ishan sadiq • 04 Nov, 2013 This is revolutionary!! This could very well be the answer to the environmental crises that we are faces in today's day of age! Really motivating 😀
@Salco • 29 Nov, 2013 pls. free to contact us for further development.
@Salco • 29 Nov, 2013 pls. let us know the contact id for further development for commercial unit
@shankararao • 17 Mar, 2014 Kaustubh, Certainly it would nice if Chitra could talk about her project and also I would like to know how to contact you or chitra to get a 5kg Unit
@Chitti • 17 Mar, 2014 Tagging @iyerChitraa Thiyagarajan . Looks like there is lot of interest in setting up commercial unit. Could you please comment, Chitraa?
@Ankita Katdare • 17 Mar, 2014
shankararao
Kaustubh, Certainly it would nice if Chitra could talk about her project and also I would like to know how to contact you or chitra to get a 5kg Unit
Hello @shankarrao We will try to get in touch with her.
@Praveen Kumar Ramanujam • 09 Oct, 2014 @chitra Thiyagarajan, Can you deliver a special invited talk during the 2nd International conference on Bioenergy, Environment and Sustainable Technologies during Jan 28-31, 2015. www.best.biotechpage.com
@Praveen Kumar Ramanujam • 09 Oct, 2014 @iyerChitra Thiyagarajan, Can you deliver a special invited talk during the 2nd International conference on Bioenergy, Environment and Sustainable Technologies during Jan 28-31, 2015. www.best.biotechpage.com
@Shashank Moghe • 09 Oct, 2014
Kaustubh Katdare
I remember Mrs. Alka Zadgaonkar was in the news for converting plastic into petrol (or something similar). That was several years ago. What I learn is that the method is slightly different from what's been already present in other parts of the world (correct me on this).

It'd be nice to have Chitra talk about her project with us. 😀
She is a relative of mine. I remember her being the talk of the industry for this invention of hers back when I used to live in Nagpur. Did not understand the gravity of it as a kid. Whatever happened to the news. I believe The Hitavada or some local newspaper also covered it at that point in time.
@Ashish Anilkumar • 22 Sep, 2015 Hi Chitra ,
I am working on a project to determine economic viability of setting up a Plastic to fuel
plant in GOA. Could you please share your email id so that I discuss the project requirements with you
My email id is ashishanilkumar189@gmail.com
Thank You
7.1k views

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