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Edinburgh-based Skyrora is building a mobile, modular plant that turns non-recyclable plastic waste into rocket fuel. Rocket launches require more and more fuel and produce more carbon emissions.
Skyrora's approach to this issue allows rockets to be fired non-stop, as they largely solve the problem of plastic waste every time. The company's technology turns waste plastic into a high-performance rocket fuel, dubbed Ecosene because it is similar in composition to premium kerosene.
Skyrora uses a pyrolysis technique that uses heat to decompose a substance without oxygen and turn it into liquid oil. Ecosene's technology produces pyrolysis at low temperatures, and the resulting fuel can be used to refuel rockets or even an ordinary car.
According to Supercluster, 650-750 liters of fuel can be obtained from each ton of plastic waste, depending on the quality of the fuel used. plastic.
The technology used by the company makes it possible to use even low-grade plastics in the process, which the predecessors could not do. Therefore, plastics such as polystyrenes and polyesters, as well as metallized snack and chip packaging, can be used in this process. The fuel produced in this way is significantly cheaper and likely to cost a fifth of the $13 per gallon space companies pay today for rocket fuel.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that 400 million tons of plastic waste, and only nine percent of it is recycled, the rest either ends up in landfills or incinerated. Burning a tonne of plastic releases about 900 kilowatts of energy, the company says.
However, when the same amount of waste is turned into Ecosene, it can release 10 times more energy. Skyrora is working on building fully scalable and modular plants that can be taken to a plastic waste collection point and deployed to turn it into fuel.
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