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Clean Kerala to try pyrolysis for managing plastic waste

                                                                       waste plastic

With monthly collection of plastic waste from local bodies hardly yielding obvious results due to the enormous quantity of plastic waste generated, the Clean Kerala Company has finalized a proposal to establish a plant that would produce pyrolysis oil from plastic waste.

The pilot pyrolysis plant, which is most likely to come up in the capital, is touted as a viable model to effectively deal with the soaring quantity of plastic waste.

Tenders have already been invited for the proposal which will be implemented on PPP mode. The project is being planned with economic objectives as well.

The company that wins the contract would produce oil from plastic waste via pyrolysis method and Clean Kerala Company will be given a share of the profit earned from the sale of oil.

"The collection of plastic waste is just not enough for disposal. Pyrolysis of plastic would produce pyrolysis oil which has various applications in industry,'' said Kabeer B Haroon, managing director, Clean Kerala Company.

The project had earlier been presented during the Emerging Kerala meet held in 2012. However, it was not taken any further due to the non-availability of land and lack of interest.

T Muraleedharan Nair, retired director of the Common Facility Service Centre at Manjeri, who had presented the project at Emerging Kerala said that the pyrolysis plant for processing plastic waste has immense financial possibilities. "The cost of producing the furnace oil is Rs 22 per litre and the market value is much higher and it is of immense need in steel recycling plants and cement factories," Nair said.

In a project report prepared by an agency and sponsored by central pollution control board (CPCB) on 'Plastic Waste Disposal using Plasma Pyrolysis Technology', it was cited that the total consumption of plastic in India is around 8 million tonnes and it has been assumed that 70% of the total plastic consumed is converted into waste i.e. approximately 5.6 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated in the country every year.

In the state, 134 tonnes of plastic have so far been collected by the Clean Kerala Company from various local bodies.

The study sponsored by CPCB had monitored the emission of pollutants i.e. particular matter (PM), oxides of nitrogen (NO2 ), carbon monoxide (CO), dioxins and furans, and as per the analytical data, emission of toxic pollutants including dioxins and furans are lower during pyrolysis than the prescribed standards for hazardous waste incinerators.

The success of the project, however, calls for consistent supply of plastic, something which could derail the zero waste concept being mooted by the Suchitwa Mission.

"There have been successful models across the country and we will implement it by looking at various aspects," Kabeer said.

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