Sunday, August 22, 2010
Usually, the inventions I see coming from Japan are like a bad infomercial. Products that do multiple things at once: the portable restroom—and a clothes dryer. Dog shampoo machine—and a satellite dish, and so on. Although not the first to use the process, this though is about the most practical thing I’ve seen on a small scale. Some real Back to the Future type tech from Akinori Ito takes plastic waste and burns it, converting the resulting gas to oil that can be further refined. Not sure how efficient this is because they don’t say how much energy is needed to run this process, but it claims to produce 1 litre of oil from 1 kg of garbage. Too good to be true? Maybe not. There’s a bigger question though with any tech that threatens to compete with the current methods of energy consumption: adoption and its effect on economies, here and abroad. We had electric car technology years ago killed by the same Detroit which now embraces it. If this invention does what it says, imagine your local dump now becoming the biggest gas station in town. People could start making money off what they consume, not to mention helping the environment by reducing what gets dumped into it.
Posted 2:00 PM