Microwaving old, discarded tires into diesel fuel?

A great article in today’s Dallas paper covers a man in Pennsylvania who has discovered how to microwave old car tires back into completely usable, separate materials. For 50 cents worth of electricity, he can microwave an old 14 inch tire down to 1.2 gallons of diesel fuel, 7.5 pounds of carbon black, 50 cubic feet of combustible gas and 2 pounds of high-strength steel.

Even better, he has discovered that you can use the same system on sludge dredged from the bottom of a river to create usable fuel!

Car tires, of course, have steel belts, and metal – as many home microwave oven users have accidentally discovered – reacts poorly to microwaves. “The microwave door hit me in the head a few times before I figured out how to deal with that,” Mr. Pringle said.

Oxygen causes that bad reaction. So he microwaved tires in a vacuum. After many trials and errors, he, chief engineer Hawk Hogan, researcher George Birch and others found a frequency that turned tires into useful material. With 50 cents’ worth of electricity for the large microwave he has fabricated, he demonstrates. He turns a single 14-inch car tire, one small piece at a time, into 1.2 gallons of diesel fuel, 7.5 pounds of carbon black, 50 cubic feet of combustible gas and 2 pounds of high-strength steel.

Through tubes from the vacuum chamber inside the microwave, the diesel fuel goes into a glass container and the combustible gas is captured in a tank. The solids remain in a container inside the oven.

Each demonstration finishes with a flourish, when he flicks a cigar lighter to a torch and burns off the gas he just produced.

“I’ve tested the diesel fuel in my pickup,” Mr. Pringle said. “The truck ran fine, but the exhaust smelled like burning rubber. At stoplights, people around me kept checking to see if they’d left their parking brake engaged.”

He later dialed the right frequency to harvest usable fuels from material dredged from river bottoms.

“What was left was aggregate material that was completely clean and safe.” Mr. Preski reviewed articles in engineering journals and decided there was potential in what Mr. Pringle developed.