By Luba Ostashevsky
- Published on May 19, 2015 by Popular Science
At a factory in Almeria, on the southern coast of Spain, Michael Murray, the CEO of the technology company Cynar, makes an impressive demonstration. A video on Cynar’s website shows him filling a glass bottle with a soup distilled from plastic, then marching outside. In a sport coat and rubber gloves, he pours it into the gas tank of a Toyota Land Cruiser. Then he cranks the ignition and drives off.
This isn’t just a trick; it’s a business plan. Murray intends to convert millions of tons of plastic waste into a synthetic fuel. The factory, which licenses his technology, opened late last year and is already digesting just under one ton of plastic an hour. That translates into 3,693 gallons of diesel a day, enough to fill 230 midsize cars. “I watch this crap going in, smelly, stinky stuff, and get out usable fuel,” Murray says.