Global Processing

Dow Makes Energy from Recycled Plastic

May 23, 2011

In a press release statement, Dow Chemical Company announced that it has successfully demonstrated the use of recycled plastic to generate energy. The successful pilot test measured how plastic that has been reused and recycled to the full extent possible can be used as fuel for an ultimate end-of-life option instead of going to a landfill for disposal. The pilot test found that 96 percent of available energy was recovered after incinerating 578 pounds of used plastic in a kiln at one of Dow’s waste treatment facilities. The energy recovered was equivalent to 11.1 million Btu’s of natural gas and was used as fuel for Dow’s incinerator during the test. The trial was completed in compliance with regulatory permits. Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) scrap film generated in one of Dow’s extrusion laboratories was used in the test. The film was the same type commonly used for packaging food and consumer products. The test took place at Dow’s U.S. manufacturing location in Midland, Mich. Energy recovery allows more utility captured from every natural gas or oil molecule. The recycle-to-energy recovery trial provided the concept validation for the submission and approval of one of several energy efficiency projects recently chosen to receive funding through Dow’s Energy Intensity Improvement Fund. The $100 million investment fund targets Dow projects designed to help reduce energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.