Saturday, July 10, 2010

First fryer test for melting plastic bags

Thomas Henry Culhane
Thomas Henry Culhane
It is "no duh" obvious, but until you try it yourself at home you don't feel the impact in your bones where your whole mind-body complex says, "boy, this is such an easy way to eliminate plastic bag waste -- the scourge of cities like Cairo where plastic shopping bags have too low a resale value to be gathered for recycling and so end up floating ... See Morearound the city where they are sardonically called "Egypt's National Bird"). But with the "deep fryer approach the volume can be safely and easily reduced and turned into a higher density product that can be accumulated and transported easily for resale, or can be put into molds to make bowls and other value added objects.
June 6 at 3:45am · ·
Thomas Henry Culhane
Thomas Henry Culhane
The trick now is to find a way to do the melting on a larger scale and to keep the oil at 360 F without consuming too much energy. One thought is to have submersible metal containers that you pack with plastic and place as inert "bricks" at the bottom of deep fryers that are being used to cook falafel or fried foods. One would, in effect, be "... See Morerenting space" in the fryer, and the containers, while melting the plastic, might also help to keep the temperatures constant in the fryer (phase changes discourage temperature changes until the phase change is complete; does this apply to plastic too?)
June 6 at 3:52am · ·
Thomas Henry Culhane
Thomas Henry Culhane
Since the plastic would never touch the cooking oil, as it would be sealed in a metal container, there would be no worry about contaminating the cooking oil. We could also heat the oil with biogas, but having a thermostat that keeps the temp constant, so the plastic doesn't burn, would be trickier than with an electric deep fryer. My one worry ... See Moreabout submersible containers is that as the plastic melts there would be expansion of gases so it would need a thin metal tube (which could be made into a handle) that let overpressure escape.
June 6 at 3:55am · ·
Thomas Henry Culhane
Thomas Henry Culhane
The beauty of this is simply proving to myself (and my family, who were skeptical, and made me do it on the porch) that melting down our plastic waste would produce no fumes or smells or dangers, would not catch fire, would not spatter, and theoretically could reduce our waste stream on a daily level. My next step will be to get a much larger deep fryer and go for larger quantities of plastic waste.
June 6 at 3:57am · ·
Paula Peng
Paula Peng
So, this is the literal "melting pot"? I've fused bags with an iron to make thicker plastic for sewing, but it's tricky. There are so many different grades of plastic that don't stick to each other. But the fryer melted them together indiscriminately?
June 6 at 8:09am · ·
Marcel Lenormand
Marcel Lenormand
Excellent! A little more controlled that doing it over an open fire (like we've seen before)!

I'll be interested to see what you can do (mould) with it.
June 6 at 11:15am · ·
Les Robertson
Les Robertson
Every time you post I am impressed.. thanks!
June 6 at 8:22pm · ·
Mustafa Hussein
Mustafa Hussein
great one, we might work on something similer soon for the 350/10/10 soon ISA

keep it up and keep us posted
June 7 at 12:00am · ·
Thomas Henry Culhane
Thomas Henry Culhane
I found in the morning that the mass of melted plastic was impossible to remove from the steel can, so my next step will be to try adding a little cooking oil in the container to grease the sides and bottom. Note that it doesn't turn "liquid" but rather becomes a goopy mastic like substance, so it can't be "poured" but would need to be pressed into a mold.
June 7 at 3:49am · ·
Mustafa Hussein
Mustafa Hussein
can you use pepsi can so that you can cut it after, or if it's going to be a buiseness then the plastic can be sold in cans ?
June 7 at 10:14am · ·
Thomas Henry Culhane
Thomas Henry Culhane
Great idea Mustafa!!
June 8 at 12:17am · ·
Hanna Fathy Rostom
Hanna Fathy Rostom
do you think hat cheap to us a fryer and oil to milt plastic bags ?
June 8 at 11:04am

2 comments:

Muhammad said...

I WANNA PLASTIC BAGS IN MELTED FORM BUT HOW I CAN INCREASE ITS FLOWING BEHAVIOUR. OR HOW I CAN DECREASE ITS COHESIVE NATURE SO THAT IT FLOW LIKE LIQIDS

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