Plastic trash to fuel global flight
Flying 10,500 miles “On Wings of Waste.”
Pilot Jeremy Rowsell plans to fly his small Cessna aircraft halfway around the world. With stops to refuel in troubled territories and thousands of ocean miles to cross, he’s now in specialized training that will teach him how to survive a kidnapping or a nosedive into the ocean. But the risks are not what makes this particular flight plan newsworthy.
Rowsell will be flying an airplane fueled by plastic trash.
The fuel for Rowsell’s plane will be provided by Cynar, one of a handful of companies around the globe converting discarded plastic into liquid fuel. In a process called "pyrolysis," a synthetic diesel is created by heating “end of life” plastics (ELP), or plastic waste that can’t be reused or recycled.
Plastic products are currently being produced at a rate of about 300 million tons per year, and a good 85 percent of it ends up in landfills or dumped into the oceans. But most plastic is petroleum based, and new technologies enable "ecopreneurs" like Cynar to make the conversion to diesel without polluting the air. The end product is a highly efficient fuel with minimal carbon emissions. Pyrolysis yields minimal waste, too: The 5 percent of char resulting from the heating process can be used in the manufacturing of building materials like concrete and tile.
More from Living: 7 easy ways to better sleep
The project, dubbed “On Wings of Waste,” is less a test of the fuel — its viability has already been proven — than it is a message in the air. Rowsell is hopeful his flight will help the industry producing ELP fuel to overcome stubborn obstacles such as lack of capital support and the inaccurate perception that plastic-derived gas is inferior to fossil fuels and biofuels.
More from Living: 2013 Good Housekeeping VIP (Very Innovative Products) Awards
Cynar can currently convert about 20 tons of ELP plastic into 5,000 gallons of fuel per day. For Rowsell’s 10,500-mile trip from Sydney to London, he’ll need about a thousand gallons of synthetic fuel, or the equivalent of five tons of plastic.
That’s a lot of water bottles, detergent containers and plastic packaging. Better to see it burning cleanly across the sky than choking our landfills and oceans.
Bing: Find flights
Photo: Jeremy Rowsell / Courtesy @altitude.com.au
Being forever the cyinict [sp}, Why aren't t
he money people jumpimg all over this development?
inspire: live a better life
Our personal finance guru, Tanisha A. Sykes, shares how small investments can pay off big. Here's what you can do with the following:
You may have a corner office, a big paycheck, or a political following, but these flubs will plummet your appeal--and fast track you to the front door.
Influence anyone with these sneaky tricks.
An investment in gratitude pays valuable dividends, especially when times are tough.
Scoring big in your career means being off-target more times than you hit the bull's-eye. Learn how to make all those misses lead to success.
Raise your hand if you've been here: It's Monday morning, and you've been up all night wiping your runny nose, coughing, and feeling achy all over.
5 proven tips to maximize your productivity.
These 'experts' underperform the markets year after year.
You love your friends—so why does it sting when one of them reaches a life-changing goal before you do? How to stop the comparathon.
It's the one resolution you must keep this year! Start by taking inventory of what matters to you and what makes you happy. Then, work on savoring those experiences! Here, four ways to create more delight each and every day from life consultant Michelle DeAngelis.
Print out all 27 mind and body pick-me-ups and keep them in a jar. In a meh mood emergency, dispense as needed.
The type of photo that will get you 60% more attention online (it doesn't include cleavage, I promise!)
If your New Year's resolution is to dust off your online dating profile and get some action on it, here's an important tip…