Startup Paterson Energy is Manufacturing Fuel From Waste Plastic
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2012: The menace of mindless disposal of plastic waste and its effects on the environment led Vidya Amarnath to devise a more ethical way of mitigating plastic waste. During the research phase, she worked with IIT Madras and Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology.
2013: Ultimately, she chanced upon a Thermochemical Depolymerisation Technology (TDT), which was being used for shredded tyres. The process was then perfected to accept plastic waste as feed stock and obtain a high grade diesel variant of oil.
2014: With the technology perfected overtime, Vidya established first plant in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu at a cost of Rs 5 crore. “Initially, it was just a social venture. But later, I decided to take this commercial,” she says. The model can produce 500 litres of oil for every ton of plastic waste.
2016: Vidya saw a great market potential for plastic oil, as it could be sold 25 percent below the market price of hydrocarbon fuels. She took the idea further with Paterson Energy. “We thought it could be utilized as an energy-alternative by industrial boilers, fuel generators, etc,” she says.
2017: This not only removes the harmful menace of plastic waste disposal from our atmosphere but also converts it into effective fuel. She increased the capacity of plant from two to five tons a day. The production cost is less than Rs 25 per litre. However, the yield relies upon the quality of the feedstock.
2018: Another plant is in the offing at Mathura, Uttar Pradesh for the Government of India under the Swatch Bharat Abhiyan Scheme. It is a unique model where the state government hands over the land on lease, undertakes to supply plastics, and a Navratna PSU gives financial support by means of a VGF for commissioning the plant.
2019: So far, the company has processed over 500 tons of plastic and has also received various interest for the fuel from several companies like Dalmia cement and Shell. “We have made a headway overseas with Australian and German companies approaching us,” she says gleefully.