Wringing Fuel from Plastic

This is so deserving of WorldChanging.com attention.

Alka Zadgaonkar wrings plastic waste for profit.

A Ph.D. in organic chemistry in Nagpur, India has put into practice a plant that converts all sorts of waste plastic into fuel oil, petroleum gas and solid petroleum coke. It can work with all kinds of plastic waste, and doesn’t need the waste to be cleaned first. A fractional residue containing metals is the only possibly harmful by-product.

Alka and her husband Umesh, are buying in 5 tonnes of plastic waste everyday in Nagpur at prices attractive to rag pickers. They are wringing fuel oil out of that unsightly pile and selling it to industries in the Butibori Industrial Estate, on Wardha Road out of Nagpur. Production from their plant, Unique Plastic Waste Management & Research Co Pvt Ltd is sold out for the next year.

Reading the article gives some insight into the method used, as well as the difficulties they had to face in starting this up — their offer to let the government make use of the technology got stalled, and they finally struck it out on their own with a bank loan.

Their son, Akshay, is a geek, and the “youngest” MSDN developer in the world, at 12!
That encouragement led Akshay to become at 12, the world’s youngest Microsoft Certified Software Developer [MCSD]. The Zadgaonkar family was sent tickets to Seattle for a private meeting with Bill Gates. [Akshay, yet to finish college is interning with Microsoft at Hyderabad.]

My first thoughts on reading about this on some other site was that this too will be a hoax — snake oil — so to speak, but I think this one passes the ultimate test of legitimacy – a google search (just kidding).

Man, if these guys were in the United States, she would have been a millionaire, and VCs would be lining up on their porch. Not in India, though:

But at the Zadgaonkar household, values have hardly changed. Success sits lightly on this family of knowledge seekers: Alka refuses to give up her calling as a teacher.

Somebody take up on this, and start disposing of plastics in a useful way, please.
(If you eat at Subway, you can help, by saying you don’t need the plastic bag for the sandwich :) )

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25 Responses to Wringing Fuel from Plastic

  1. Pingback: DesiPundit » Wringing Fuel from Plastic

  2. Jerome says:

    Hi Carthik,
    hows it hanging? Been a long time since your last post.
    Hope everything is well on your side.

    Cheers mate

  3. chiru says:

    hiiiiii, this is chiru.can i get more information regarding this process

  4. Anonymous says:

    News to me! I’ve been looking at a long time at a daily Google Alert on
    Biodiesel,just to keep in touch.Glad to find a cousin has similar thoughts.

    I liked the nice touch about not using plastic at Subway (or wherever).
    Maybe the answer is just keep a cloth bag,and use it for a year,or as lon g as it manages to look decent..

    Pick up the causes of the world and keep highlighting them…If there were’nt sparks,then fires would’nt be lit.

  5. hi carthik, can u kindly send me mrs zadgaonkars e mail for correspondence. would be of great help. thanks


  6. Joan Grau says:

    I’m very interested in “pocket Plants” to convert PE into fuel

  7. Carthik says:


    I don’t have her contact info – I just wrote about what I found elsewhere on the web :)

  8. sachin jagtap says:

    hi. can i get more detail information of this process so that i want to start a project
    on this topic .

  9. Anonymous says:

    have u got any information about the secret calalyst of alka zadgaonkar??t

  10. Cam Rowley says:

    I would like to get your email to discuss this further with you. I have similar interests and would like to share them with you.

  11. We are a leading screen printing unit engaged in the manufacture of Motorcycle decals and Car stripes.We generate lot of self adhesive PVC waste which presents us with the problem of environment friendly disposal.As this waste contains a permanent acrylic adhesive,this waste is not wanted by many recyclers of PVC films.
    I would like to know from your end whether you will be able to use this self adhesive PVC film waste in your fuel recovery plant ?
    If so let us know the commercial terms for disposing off this waste at your plant.

  12. chaitanya kher says:

    hi this is a student need some information on the topic how can w make fuel out of platic plz send me the methord
    on my id chaitanya_kher@yahoo.co.in
    as early as possible


  13. elis says:

    hiiii…….i’m interested in it, i’ve planning to use this for my research in college,may i know about the process. thanks before

  14. Hello, I am myself a double graduate in Chemical Engineering. After getting 15 years experience in engineering of chemical, petrochemical and Oil&Gas, I have started my own engineering consultancy in Pune-India. For last two years, I have also been involved in research and development activities in the field of nonconventional energy. The outcome is that I now have a fully developed technology for this. Please refer to my website http://www.aproctek.com for details. Our design range covers a very small plant to cater to a village’s needs to a megaplant. The fuel generated by our technology can generate electricity and can also replace a lot of industrial fuels such as LDO and FO which are presently used in boilers and furnaces. I am presently looking for the prospective buyers of this technology or plants; both in India and internationally. The process is completely environment friendly with no toxic releases. My website details as to who can benefit from this process, how we at Atharva ProcTek can help the prospective customers, the types (basically ALL) of plastics that we can handle and also gives idea about the payback periods involved. We at Atharva ProcTek look forward to get inquiries from genuine customers. Thanks and best regards. My mobile number is +919423014516.

  15. Rakesh Agrawal says:

    We are highly for setting up plant for making bio diesel from plastic waste.
    We are at present manufacturing plastic bags at Baroda (gujarat).
    Kindly send the details of investment & other Requirements at earliesst.
    Thanking you & looking forward to your reply

  16. hi i am looking for help i need information on machinery to recycle plast waste to fuel hope you can i live the north east of england and have large quanteties of pvc flake i hope to turn to fuel david

  17. hi i looking for help on equpment for plastic covertion to fuel can you help please david

  18. Amit Agarwal says:

    We are interested in setting up plant for making bio diesel from plastic waste.
    We would be highly obliged if you could provide us with more details details relating to
    investment and other requirements.
    Thanking you
    Amit Agarwal

  19. sanjeev says:

    hi would like to start a similar project please be kind enough to inform how we can get started and also get the equipment.

  20. Dear Mr. Rakesh Agarwal,
    Please let me know your required capacity of such plant. Please send me your contact details. We believe that we could be of help to you. Please refer to our website http://www.aproctek.com for our contact details and for the details of our process.
    Thanks and best regards.
    Rajesh G. Kulkarni

  21. mrr says:

    Google on the great pacific garbage patch!!

    A continent size area full of plastic that floats in the pacific ocean! and no one knows how to clean it up…IMAGINE! swarms of automatic boats going around together with the waste eating plastic converting it to fuel to propel itself! to eat more plastic! :)

  22. vidhi says:

    we thought u’d given the method of preparation but we were sorry to find this out….

  23. santhosh says:

    hi… hello i’m a student of vtu, can u give me information about equipments for convertion of waste plastics into fuel.plz i’m looking for reply

  24. praneeth says:

    can you plz tell me what all are the exhaust gases and their effects on environment and how much fuel can india produce from plastics and can fuel be produced from polyethene bags?