Crowdsourced, co-developped and without patents
Plastic Odyssey aims to promote and make recycling technologies accessible. To do so, we develop low-tech and open-source technologies to valorize plastic waste.
These machines are based on existing technologies that have already proven to be successful as far as sorting, recycling and pyrolysis are concerned. However, they have to be improved and adapted to be mobile, budget-friendly, easy to produce and to repair. Blueprints will be available online for free so that everyone can have access to them freely.
Plastic is sorted by category in order to be properly treated.
Recyclable plastics are transformed into new objects.
The remaining plastics are converted in energy to power the boat.
Once a plastic object has been used and discarded, it becomes waste.
When collected, plastic waste usually ends up in landfills or incinerated, and in the best case scenario, recycled.
Most often than imagined they are left in open landfills or in the natural environment. During our expedition, We intend to recycle this waste before it leaks into the environment.
Hundreds of different plastics exist. All are not recycled in the same way.
Sorting allows us to :
– remove non-plastic material (metals, natural organic matter, glass, etc.)
– sort the most common plastics in 7 categories. Each one of them will then be treated in a specific way depending on its physical properties.
We do not recycle PET and PVC as they contain toxic substances. They will be compacted and sold to specialized industries.
Sorting is done manually, waste objects are visually identified. A simple tool to identify each plastic type to help reduce errors.
Plastic waste needs to be homogeneous and not deteriorated too much by the UV light of the sun. Degraded or poor quality plastic waste is separated and will not be recycled but used to produce fuel through the pyrolysis process.
This step sees all plastic waste broken into much smaller pieces.
We use a shredder equipped with rotating blades and powered by an engine.
Plastic is shredded several times until it gets small enough, then is put in a separate bin.
Plastic flakes are then washed in a big container full of water that is slowly stirred by rotating lames to get rid of all impurities before being recycled.
What’s left of heavy waste (such as sand, metals, PVC, PET) will sink whilst the recyclable plastic floats and can be picked up at the surface.
Plastic flakes are then placed into a centrifuge similar to a washing machine drum, so that high-rotating-speed wringing separates impurities left over such as paper.
Considering the plastic’s humidity, it can become problematic when plastic is too wet as it can release some gases. To prevent this from happening, plastic needs to be dried and to do so, the easiest way is to leave it under the sun during a couple of hours for a natural drying process.
Extrusion is a widely used manufacturing process in the plastic industry, and is the first mechanical recycling process. The process begins by slowly heating all plastic flakes, loading them into an endless screw, where a dummy block is placed behind it, the ram then presses on the plastic to push it out of the die. It will keep its final shape when cooling down. We can make bricks, poles, pipes as well as any other universal and suitable kinds of shapes
This process decomposes plastic waste by heating it over 400°C without oxygen, hence preventing combustion. Plastic molecules break apart and are converted back into hydrocarbon: liquid fuel, volatile gases and solid residues.
This technology allows to process non-recyclable waste as it may be too dirty, too degraded or mixed up with other substances.
The products obtained will be used as a fuel to power the ship’s engine and recycling technologies during the stopovers.
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