Positive Impact (sustainable)
The Land Art Generator Initiative
Ibn Al Haytham Pavilion
+ Plastikoleum Tower
We designed the Plastikoleum Tower after being impressed with the idea that the Japanese inventor Akinori Ito came up with to convert plastic waste back into the raw petroleum from whence it originally came. His company, Blest Corporation, sells various scales of his converter from 1kg capacity to 50kg. Ito has been traveling around the world demonstrating the small desktop version (shown below) which can convert 1kg of plastic waste material into 1 liter of oil which can be refined into gasoline, kerosene, or diesel.
We designed the Plastikoleum Tower as an interesting variation on the conventional solar power tower. The latest generation of this particular concentrated solar power technology is getting very efficient and is able to maintain 15 hour cycles of heat that maintain at least 500 degrees Celsius. For more about these, see the Torresol Energy Gemesolar plant (a collaboration with Masdar).
The Plastikoleum Tower is basically the same thing, except that instead of using the heat to create steam for turbine electricity generation, it is used to create oil from plastic waste. At this level of production, we could put a nice dent in the millions of tons of plastic waste that is discarded every year and would otherwise end up completely unused in landfills. So the raw material is basically free. The oil product can be sold at $100 per barrel (as of this post) and has the added benefit of cleaning up the environment of plastic waste.
For more information please see our blog entry.