India’s first plastic to diesel conversion plant in Mathura

India’s first plastic to diesel conversion plant in Mathura

In probably the best tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary on October 2, Mathura MP Hema Malini inaugurated the country’s first plastic to diesel conversion plant in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. The plant is likely to become operational from October 11.

Assistant city commissioner, Mathura, AK Singh, said that the plant will eliminate five metric tonnes of plastic every day from the city, including non-valuable plastic of less than 50 micron thickness such as carry bags or packing material. Notably, a total 220 metric tonnes of waste is collected door to door by the municipal corporation per day. Of this, 35 per cent is dry waste and out of this about five metric tonnes of plastic will be available for conversion into diesel. This plant will work on public-private partnership (PPP) model.

Mr Singh added “The converted diesel cannot be used in vehicles but can be used as an alternative fuel for diesel generators and factory set up. Instead of using furnace oil, factories can use this oil. One of the main advantages of this oil is that it is 25 per cent cheaper than furnace oil. Also, its very low in sulphur content and, hence, less polluting. The plant has a capacity to convert one tonne of plastic waste into 150-200 litres of diesel, which will sell at a cost of Rs 45-50 per litre, said Singh, adding that other nagar palikas of the district can also dispose of waste plastic at this conversion plant.”

Technology behind Plastic to Diesel Conversion Plant in Mathura

Elaborating on the technology of converting plastic into diesel, managing director of Paterson Energy Private limited, Vidya Amarnath, said plastic is derived from crude oil through a process called polymerisation and at the plant thermo-chemical depolymerisation process is done to reconvert plastic to crude oil.

Vidya Amarnath said, “In this process plastic waste is heated in a reactor at a very high temperature of between 350-600 degree Celsius in the absence of oxygen, and three components from it — hydrocarbon gases, toxic mix of gases called syngas and carbon black — are derived”.

“We get pyrolysis oil, which is a high grade diesel variant, after the hydrocarbon gases are condensed,” she said, adding that instead of letting the toxic gases out into the atmosphere, these are captured in a balloon and reintroduced as heating agents into a process.

“The advantage of doing this is that the entire process is not only energy efficient but also completely green,” she said, adding that their process is zero effluent and zero emission as well. However, carbon black, which is collected separately, can be used in various industries such as paint and cement.

Such a plant would have served its purpose better in Agra where the amount of plastic waste generated is much higher, being larger and more urbanised than Mathura. If established in Agra, this plant could have served as a model for other cities to emulate since Agra is an internationally known city and it catches better global attention than Mathura.

Social activist Deep Sharma

Interestingly, a model of this plant had been placed for a demonstration before PM Modi when he had arrived in Mathura some time back as a part of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. This model is now working on a full scale at the Mathura Municipal Corporation’s (MMC) trenching grounds.