Diesel from waste plastics in Nova Scotia

Minas Basin Pulp and Power Company Limited is a Canadian company started in 1937 to produce ground wood pulp, adding paperboard in 1946. Today they make 100 percent recycled paperboard products with power generated from their own hydro power plant. It’s estimated that their plant saves over 10 million cubic feet of landfill space a year. So what better recipient of a government program to produce diesel from recycled plastics?

On April 2, 2008 Premier Rodney MacDonald announced that the Canadian province would be investing up to 20 million in Minas Basin’s new green programs.

“We are committed to investing in innovative and resourceful companies that contribute to job growth, a green environment, and a strong economy for Nova Scotia,” said Premier MacDonald. “Minas Basin is taking a leadership role by helping to ensure environmental sustainability for this province.”

With this investment by the Government the company will be able to invest $27 million in capital investments.

“This assistance from the province allows us to enter the next phase of sustainable restructuring for Minas Basin,” said Scott Travers, Minas Basin president and chief operating officer. “It will create significant operational savings and increase the supply of renewable energy for Nova Scotia.

Details on the process that will be used at the Minas Basin facility were not readily available.

China began converting waste plastic into diesel in 1999, and since then have been importing large amounts of plastic waste that would otherwise go into landfills.

Anonymous April 16, 2008 at 10:08 am

Some of you might not be aware that it is not possible to make biodiesel from plastic. Biodiesel is made from animal and vegitable fats. Plastics tend to be made from petroleum. In fact, there is a very strict ASTM standard that must be met to call the product Biodiesel.

The company is very environmentally progressive and should be applauded for their past and ongoing efforts. When one reads the story, it appears that the fuel produced from fossil fuel based plastic will be the equivalent of taking 14,000 cars off the road. If this logic holds true, this would mean that if we were to convert all petroleum to plastic first – and then make this fuel from the plastic, there would be no greenhouse gas emissions!

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