Assistant Professor Dr Mohammed Mahmudur Rahman at the chemistry department said his method uses a catalyst which makes it possible to produce half a litre of fuel from 1kg of plastic.
He submitted a report on his findings to the university’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mijanur Rahman on Monday, according to a press release.
Dr Mijanur Rahman hailed the discovery as a milestone.
The research was conducted under an Education Ministry-funded project titled “Selective Catalytic Degradation of Waste Plastics to Gasoline & Diesel Fuel.” Researchers from Buet and Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology (Duet) also participated in the project.
Dr Mahmudur’s demonstrations produced 15ml of oil from 30gm of plastic bags. The process is claimed to be able to produce half litre of sulphur-free oil from 1kg of plastic. The total output produces 43% petrol, 23% kerosene 17% gas, 14% diesel and 3% carbon residue.
Dr Mahmudur claims the output can be separated by means of fractional distillation and sold at Tk30 per litre. He said his discovery would be very lucrative because of the low cost of the raw materials to make the catalyst.
His prototype machine is capable of producing 300 litres oil per month. He assumes that millions of litres of oil can be produced if the prototype is scaled for large-scale implementation. Dr Mahmudur hoped that private and public bodies will take notice of his discovery and provide further funding to capitalise on the invention.
As a result, the country would save from harmful effects and environmental pollution of discarded plastic by producing fuel oil. All types of vehicles and irrigation pump will be used of the oil. Electricity can be produce from the used gas.
Dr Mahmudur expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister PM Sheikh Hasina and Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid for the research funding.
A number of experts reviewed the process and opined the process could be used to produce electricity from the gas produced.
Dr Mahmudur Rahman obtained his PhD from Edinburgh University in Scotland and MSc in Chemical Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. Before JnU, he taught at Duet.