UK-Firm Testing Low Sulfur Bunkers Made from Recycled Plastic

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday July 7, 2016

Ricardo plc (Ricardo) Tuesday announced that it is working with UK-based Recycling Technologies Limited (Recycling Technologies) to test low-sulfur bunkers made from plastic.

The product, called Plaxx, is made from residual mixed plastic waste unsuitable for direct recycling and would otherwise go to landfill, explains Ricardo, with the resulting product intended to replace HFO and distillate grade bunkers.

"The marine industry is a key market as the use of high sulfur oil is increasingly being restricted. Working together with Ricardo on this project, we are now taking steps to get Plaxx qualified so that it is fit for use in medium and large marine engines," Adrian Griffiths, CEO of Recycling Technologies.

"Plaxx is an ultra-low sulfur feedstock and can be adapted for use in any markets where crude oil derivatives are used. Through this pilot project, we hope to qualify Plaxx as meeting the new global MARPOL requirements."

The study will specifically compare the relative performance of Plaxx against HFO and diesel when used in an engine of the "type and scale typical of power generation or marine propulsion applications," says Ricardo.

To produce the fuel, Recycling Technologies is said to have developed a machine, known as the RT7000, and is working to industrialise the conversion process of residual plastic waste into the low sulfur hydrocarbon compound known as Plaxx.

Ricardo says that in the European Union alone 25 million tonnes of post-consumer waste plastic is produced each year, of which only 26 percent is recycled.