Students’ Group Produces Fuel from Plastics

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Alpha Investment Limited has introduced a technology that produces fuel from polythene and plastic materials. The innovation was among those exhibited at the 3rd Makerere University Entrepreneurship Expo held at Freedom Square.

Begumisa Samuel, the president of a ten-member company reveals that they use the mentioned waste because when burnt they do not produce a lot of liquids. "We want plastics that when burnt produce vapour, which when condensed transforms into liquid, a product we are looking for," said Begumisa.

He explains that the production goes through a one and half to two hours process called anaclobic pyrolysis in which plastics are heated in drum with the absence of oxygen. "We have to ensure that the drum is covered all the time because if oxygen mistakenly enters, we do not get any product," said Begumisa.

He discloses that they use firewood to provide heat for the start due to lack of funds, but there are other sources of heat like electricity that can be used.

"During fractional distillation, we first apply low temperatures to get petrol. On realizing that it is over, we increase to moderate to get kerosene and finally increase to high temperatures to get diesel," explained Kintu Richard, the company’s marketing manager.

Ainebyona Samalie, the chief operations officer explains that they came up with this idea through research and found out that plastics can provide fuel. "We decided to bring out this idea because we thought that many people do not know about it and indeed we have got a lot of people seeking to find out how the process is done," said Ainebyona.

She further reveals that the company was founded in July 2018 and that its aim is to transform plastic waste into commercial fuel products that can be used by households at an affordable price.