Thermodynamic Reprocessing Ltd. (TDR) has created a patented process called ‘Thermodynamic Cracking‘.
Thermodynamic Reprocessing Ltd. (TDR) has developed a patented thermodynamic ‘cracking’ process for hydrocarbon based waste products (such as rubber and plastics) which after cracking in the TDR reactor are transformed into synthetic fuels – diesel/gas oil and synthetic gas, with a residue of a valuable dry powdered carbon rich material. The fuels produced can then be further refined for various uses, or used directly as fuel for onsite conventional power plant . The process utilises direct friction and shear forces to heat the feedstock rather than having to rely upon indirect heat transfer, and as a result the process is highly efficient. Plastic and tyre materials can be broken down efficiently and quickly by the TDR technology, and the fuels produced can be directly used in conventional generating plant which makes the TDR cracking machine an attractive and highly economic technology.
Recycling routes for plastics tend to only work with single monomer streams, so mixed plastics have proven to be unrecyclable, and waste tyres have been a problematic waste for many years. Energy recovery from these wastes via a traditional pyrolysis process is possible, although it is far less efficient.
Traditional Pyrolysis also has some other significant disadvantages:
- The plants are much larger and therefore more costly to operate, more costly to staff and more expensive to maintain
- They are far less energy efficient, utilising significant quantities of the fuels they produce to heat the pyrolysis process
- The majority of traditional pyrolysis plants are batch systems unlike the TDR technology which has a continuous flow
- They frequently need costly and environmentally damaging catalysts to make the process work – these catalysts are usually extremely costly
- They usually have large exhaust stacks – The cracking process has no direct emissions to the atmosphere at all
The design of the reactor is proprietary technology with the world-wide patent WO2011132210A1, 10722784.5 in the EU, as well as 1368006 and 1368016 in Italy, all patents are held by TDR.
The principles behind the TDR cracker are an adaptation and development of well-established technology and plant that was originally designed for other purposes. TDR’s technological development has been reviewed by the Universities of Ferrera and Bologna – who are leading Italian experts in the processing of plastic waste, rubber car tyres and car fluff (the plastic residue from car scrapping operations). The TDR design has been proven at both a prototype and on a full commercial scale. The rest of the process – feedstock shredding, feedstock handling, prime movers and alternators (if electricity generation is required) are all well-established technology.
The TDR cracking technology is suitable for a number of different potential feedstocks including rubber and plastics.
The TDR design has been proven at both a prototype and full commercial scale. The rest of the process -feedstock shredding, feedstock handling, prime movers and alternators (if electricity generation is required) are all well-established technology.
Cracking, as such, is a well-established principle and is common in the petrochemical industry where it is used on liquids at high temperatures (over 1000°C) and usually requires the presence of a catalyst. The novel TDR cracking process is exclusively applicable to solids and manages to ‘crack’ the molecules at much lower temperatures using only the direct heat created by applying mechanical shearing and friction forces to the feedstock, without the need for a catalyst. The process takes place under anaerobic conditions, producing zero direct emissions to atmosphere of greenhouse gases or any toxic products.