posted on Aug, 25 2010 @ 08:52 AM
reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss
Last I checked benzene's evaporate into thin air, but before they do they can be used to melt plastics.
That's the same basic phenomenon that we're talking about here. I'll try to explain what is happening chemically again.
Plastic is simply a long chain of molecules, primarily hydrogen and carbon (hydrocarbons) all linked together. Now if you have a steel chain and you
want to make shorter lengths, you cut the links (analogous here to the chemical bonds). You can make lengths of chain as short or as long as you want,
simply by choosing how many links to cut.
We can do the same with polymers. The energy we introduce determines how quickly links are cut, as well as which ones are cut. All the chemical bonds
are not the same strength, and of course the weaker ones will be cut first. If a benzene arrangement is in the polymer chain, it will be likely that
we will see benzene in the final product, for instance.
But we still have the ability to choose how much energy we put in, and thus the general length of the polymer chains in the product. The length of
these chains are what determines the density of the products, and thus their use. Diesel fuel is composed of fairly long chains as compared to
gasoline, for example.
Also, remember that diesel fuel and gasoline are not homogeneous mixtures. They are mixtures of a fairly large variety of different compounds, with
the only real requirement being the boiling points of these compounds and the energy density of the final product. That octane rating you see on the
gasoline pumps is the energy density: it is a ratio of the energy density of the product you are buying to an equal amount of pure octane (C8H18).
So all this machine does is to 'crack' the polymer chains in the plastic so they become lighter compounds instead. Once 'cracked' sufficiently,
the products are separated out by their boiling points, the same way gasoline and diesel fuel are separated out during the refining stage. If we are
getting too much diesel fuel and not enough gasoline, we just 'crack' the polymers a little more until we get the most efficient products.
I am assuming the real innovation in this machine to be a controlled process that does just that. The rest is basically just a moonshine still for