From Diapers To Diesel
Really? You can turn diapers into diesel fuel?
It’s not such a stretch, says engineering and project management company AMEC, which is working on behalf of an as yet unnamed client to build a facility in the Montreal area that would use a process known as pyrolysis to convert diapers to diesel.
The initial plan is to convert about 30,000 tonnes of diapers, about one-quarter of the diapers that end up in landfills in Quebec yearly. Piciacchia says that number of diapers will translate into about 11,000 tonnes of diesel fuel. The preliminary economic analysis pegs the cost of the fuel at 50 cents per litre. Pyrolysis, also known as thermal cracking, involves heating up the diapers up in a closed, controlled environment at temperatures of up to 600C without air, essentially breaking them down thermally. “Then you’re bringing it to the next level which is breaking the carbon chains down … and (in the end) they will resemble the fuels which are what we’re going to end up producing,” Piciacchia said. The so-called diaper diesel can be used in just about any industrial application, but probably won’t be suitable for use in an automobile, Piciacchia said.