Ghanaian Researchers Say They Can Turn Plastic Into Fuel

Ghanaian Researchers Say They Can Turn Plastic Into Fuel

What do plastics and gasoline have in common? Both are made from oil, the carbon-rich raw material being discovered and pumped in ever-increasing volumes in, around and out of Africa.

Three Ghanaian researchers say they have developed a new technology that provides a solution for plastic waste and can convert plastic into fuel, according to a report in VenturesAfrica.

The technology was developed using reverse function theory and something called the thermal decomposition approach.

Michael Commeh, Isaiah Nimako and Nene Amoatey with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) say they can convert plastic into petroleum, aviation fuel or diesel.

The technology can be applied to electronic waste plastic and to retrieve gold, platinum and copper from electronic waste, the researchers said.

Commeh said he hoped the invention starts a new conversation about creative sustainable economy.

“…the desire to passionately overcome these challenges will come from innovatively reframing problems into opportunities,” Commeh told Ghana News Agency at a display of fuels made from plastic waste at the university, VenturesAfrica reports.

Nimako said he hoped the project would leave a legacy that transcended the laboratory through social entrepreneurship.

Plastic waste has been a global menace, Amoatey said. “The research team sees waste as ‘money in transition’ and took the challenge in converting it into money, and plastic is one of them.”

The researchers said they plan to set up plants throughout Ghana for converting plastic to fuel. But first they need money. They called on donors, collaborators and investors to partner with them in generating revenue to combat the plastic waste menace, according to VenturesAfrica.