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#1 2019-11-15 19:17:16

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Recycling plastics

The ability to recycle plastics into oils that can then be used to generate new plastics looks like a good fit for Mars where, as far as we know, there is no coal or oil.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTgentcfzgg

This would hugely reduce the amount of plastics that need to be imported from Earth and would be less expensive than trying to replicate petrochemicals from scratch on Mars.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#2 2019-11-15 19:39:36

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,674

Re: Recycling plastics

We have talked about the use of plastics in 100's of topics and recycling to boot with regards to waste not want not. I have said we need to collection waste in a lander for lots of re-use of what we take with us to mars so as to not lose out on resources that would aid in making things on mars.
Here are just a few topics where Plastics had been discussed.
Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste
ISRU Polymers
Plastic into Steel (Aussie Science)

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#3 2019-11-16 06:16:31

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Recycling plastics

Agreed. Many of the early Starships can be stripped and canabilised for parts and raw materials.  All those tons of steel will definitely come in useful. As long as we leave the first cargo and human landers for posterity to marvel at! smile

The technology I referenced in the first post seems to involve new techniques and has real practical application. If you could get to 90% recycling on plastics, that would be very significant. The remaining 10% could probably come from methane processing.

I see from this link that plastics commonly contain nitrogen, chlorine, and  sulphur in addition to carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. I think all three can be found in sufficient quantities on Mars to support plastics manufacture.

We can of course use basalt with plastics to make fibre glass, another useful product.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#4 2019-11-16 11:08:17

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,674

Re: Recycling plastics

Another way to use:
Print-Your-City-The-New-Raw-designboom-1800.jpg

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#5 2019-11-16 11:56:12

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Recycling plastics

There will be a huge economic advantage on Mars to recycling - it will certainly be far cheaper than importing from Earth, and cheaper than manufacturing from scratch on Mars, when there isn't the volume production to benefit from economies of scale. The early colony will need to focus on energy, water mining, propellant production and construction - so the more it can recycle and reuse for the lower priority goods and materials, the better.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#6 2019-12-17 16:20:15

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,674

Re: Recycling plastics

kbd512 wrote:

tahanson43206,

I think I can tell you where a substantial portion of the requisite excess energy went- packaging.  We should also call it marketing, since that's most of what anything that came from a store actually is.  Note how much energy-intensive packaging material is simply being buried, year after year, decade after decade:

Facts and Figures about Materials, Waste and Recycling - Containers and Packaging: Product-Specific Data

Glass and Aluminum are very energy-intensive to simply bury after a few days to weeks of use, at most, but even wood and plastic require considerable energy input.  There's more than enough material to go around, but not if we toss half of what we make into a landfill each year.

Affordable resources are definitely not scarce here in America, but there are more wasted resources than you can shake a stick at.  Industrialization and computerization of nearly everything have made production so fast and efficient that we've wildly over-produced disposable commodities with meaningless minor variations that do nothing to improve upon the function of a product.  This comes at terrible expense to efficiency and therefore cost.  Many Americans can't afford to purchase the nth meaningless variation of some product or the packaging that the product comes in, even though that clearly doesn't stop them from trying.  The added expense in the form of the labor, machines, and materials that were used to package / market the product is too much for the customer to afford.

Do we really need hundreds of different types of toothbrushes, or do we just need manufacturers to figure out which ones do the best job of cleaning peoples' teeth at an affordable price and then produce nothing but what does the job most effectively?  Why do we need to throw away or recycle an entire toothbrush after the bristles have been damaged?  Why can't we just replace the head with a new one?  Is it more expensive in terms of resources and energy to make a completely new toothbrush or just the head?  The answer should be pretty obvious, shouldn't it?  Now apply that same disposable commodity thinking to far more energy / resource / labor intensive artifacts of modern society, like cars, ships, aircraft, and buildings.  Is it any wonder that we don't have enough energy and resources to keep pace with the increasing rate of consumption?

We now have an endless variety of meaningless choices that do not make our society more effective at progressing through our technological adolescence and it costs so much that a growing number of us simply can't afford it anymore.  At some point, ultimate durability or the energy consumption associated with new manufacture or reuse has to be taken into account.

If it's faster and cheaper to 3D print small houses with concrete, do we really need to mess around with an endless variety of less cost-effective / more resource-intensive alternatives, or are our finite time and monetary resources better spent figuring out how to crank out as many as we can, as fast as we can, so that people aren't living outside when it's cold enough to turn them into ice cubes?  We don't need ten different floor plans and thousands of different color variations to choose from.  If white paint is cheaper than red paint, then we use white paint.  If no painting at all is required, even better.  If we could pre-fab the entire structure at a factory and plop it down wherever, that's probably the cheapest way.  Fancy is for people with plenty of disposable income from long-term stable employment.  I think effective is better than fancy in this case.

Here's a rather simple final closing thought.  The American consumer has paid for the packaging costs associated with burying enough Aluminum each year to completely rebuild every commercial aircraft in our current fleet, and has done so every year since at least 1990.  The fleet of commercial aircraft was estimated to be around 7,400 aircraft in 2018.  From just the Aluminum that we've buried in landfills each and every year since 1990, that's enough material to source more than 324,000 pounds of Aluminum per airframe.  The majority of commercial aircraft, by numbers, don't weigh that much when fully loaded with passengers or cargo and fuel.  That is a staggering amount of waste.  If we can actually afford to do that, although I opine that we can't, then there shouldn't be any issue with obtaining cheap resources because we've literally buried billions of tons of the wood, metal, and glass required to make houses.

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#7 2020-01-12 16:17:32

Steve Stewart
Member
From: Kansas (USA)
Registered: 2019-09-21
Posts: 4

Re: Recycling plastics

Hello everyone, I'm new to the New Mars Forum. I've been reading through some of the discussions and have come to the conclusion that this is the best Mars forum I have ever seen. Many thanks to the administrators and moderators as well as the talented members. I look forward to chatting with all of you.

louis wrote:

The ability to recycle plastics into oils that can then be used to generate new plastics looks like a good fit for Mars where, as far as we know, there is no coal or oil.

Louis,
On the subject of recycling plastics, I have an idea on recycling the packaging used to send supplies to Mars. Supplies sent to Mars will require a lot of packaging, so they will survive a rocket launch from Earth. A popular type of packaging is styrofoam, as it is light weight and has good insulation properties. Styrofoam is made from plastic and uses a foaming agent, usually hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). (Although chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were used in the past).

Suppose the styrofoam packaging were made from organic materials. If the packaging waste were biodegradable and mixed with Martian soil, it would enrich the Martian soil with elements the soil needs to grow plants. This is because the organic styrofoam would contain some of the Essential Elements. "Essential Elements" are the elements needed in the human diet, such as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, chlorine, and so on.

The point I am making is that processing used plastic into new plastic isn't the only way to recycle plastic. All that is needed to recycle, is to turn the left over packaging into something the base needs, such as fertilizer. A company called Ecovative Design has created a line of styrofoam-like products that are made from fungi and agricultural waste. Perhaps this type of packaging could be used, and then recycled into fertilizer for Martian soil.

Ecovative Design Web-site
https://ecovativedesign.com

Ecovative Design Packaging:
https://ecovativedesign.com/packaging

The truth about bioplastics
https://phys.org/news/2017-12-truth-bioplastics.html
(This link explains the difference between Degradable, Biodegradable, and Compostable plastics)

The organic styrofoam could be composted if it were made from a compostable plastic (As explained in the link above). This can be done by simply tossing it into a compost pile (Compost bin). However, it might be necessary to make a type of styrofoam that would require a solvent to be broken down. (Similar to packing peanuts that dissolve in water).

Pros and Cons of Biodegradable Packing Peanuts
https://www.heritagepaper.net/pros-and- … g-peanuts/

One solvent that might work is water, as water is known as the universal solvent. If water is not strong enough, an acidic solvent might be required. Mars could have several organic acids available by simply growing fruits and vegetables. Some of these organic acids include:

Citric acid (C6H8O7) is found in citrus fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, and tomatoes.
Acetic acid (C2H4O2) is found in apples, grapes, oranges, pineapples, and strawberries.
Formic acid (CH2O2) is found in apples, strawberries, and raspberries.
Oxalic acid (C2H2O4) is found in beet greens, rhubarb, spinach, beets, Swiss chard, endive, cocoa powder, kale, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and turnip greens.
Uric acid (C5H4N4O3) is found in spinach, peas, lenticels, cauliflowers, and beans.
Malic acid (C4H6O5) is found in apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, peaches, pears, plums, watermelon, and mango.

Another type of solvent that could be used is vinegar.

If packaging were made from a styrofoam that could be dissolved in a solvent made on Mars, then the packaging could be recycled into a fertilizer, which would enrich the Martian soil. The mix of dissolved packaging and solvent would likely be acidic. When mixed with the alkaline soil of Mars, the acidity would serve to neutralize the Martian soil.

Another opportunity for recycling is in the foaming agent used when making styrofoam. If a hydrocarbon were used as a foaming agent, it would provide a way of sending a small amount of hydrogen to Mars in the form of packaging. I think it's well known that most of the mass of water is in the oxygen (88.9%) and less is in the hydrogen (11.1%). (The molar mass of water is 18g/mol, with 2g/mol being in the hydrogen and 16g/mol being in the oxygen). Using a hydrocarbon as a foaming agent would provide a way of sending small amounts of hydrogen to Mars, which when burned on Mars, would produce small amounts of water.

Hydrocarbons such as butane(C4H10) and propane(C3H8) could work as foaming agents, as their boiling points are at a reasonable temperature and pressure. Methane(Natural gas - CH4) might also work as a foaming agent, but it would require a combination of higher pressure/colder temperature to convert it into a liquid. (That's not to say it can't be done). When the styrofoam is dissolved in a solvent, the gas that was used as a foaming agent would be released into the air.

Louis, I know you have mentioned storing energy from solar panels in the form of methane and oxygen. Suppose solar panels were used during the day to produce methane and oxygen, as I believe you have suggested. And suppose the methane was burned at night to produced heat for a greenhouse, say in the form of a Bunsen burner. And suppose that greenhouse contained air that was mostly CO2, and that astronauts wore breathing apparatus whenever they were working in this greenhouse. If the greenhouse contained a Bunsen burner that ran during the night to keep the greenhouse warm, it would burn off any impurities in the air, such as hydrocarbons released from dissolved packaging. The released gasses would not harm humans since they would be wearing breathing apparatus. The gasses could be released safely in this type of greenhouse as long as the concentration of hydrocarbons isn't too high to cause risk of fire/explosion, or cause harm to the plants. Eventually the hydrocarbons would be completely burned off by the Bunsen burner, which in turn would only produce CO2 and water. (Plants need both). Here are the chemical formula's for butane, propane, and methane when they are burned:

Butane:
2(C4H10) + 13(O2) --> 8(CO2) + 10(H2O)

Propane:
C3H8 + 5(O2) --> 3(CO2) + 4(H2O)

Methane:
CH4 + 2(O2) --> CO2 + 2(H2O)

Perhaps other plastics could be recycled in this way, leaving nothing to waste. This includes food packaging that is used by astronauts on their way to Mars. This "waste" should not be discarded into space on their way to Mars, but should be kept and used as a valuable resource once they reach Mars.
smile

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#8 2020-01-12 16:37:01

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,674

Re: Recycling plastics

Thank you Steve Stewart, for the full of detail post. Welcome as well to NewMars.
Here when I get a chance will point to other topics which we have here in waste, its recovery and other...
You are right to think about what we bring with us as its comes at a hugh cost to launch...
Want not waste not...as many things have more than the single use even with packaging.

Mars Homesteads colony plan to recycle waste
Thermal Depolymerization / thermal conversion process
Plastic into Steel (Aussie Science)
Glad Press & Seal

Mars made ISRU Polymers
Stryofoam based Construction
Thermoplastics to Mars - "Manufacturing" the first missions


Tee! Hee! - Plastic space ships?

There are hundreds of posts which have been made with the single keyword Plastic.....

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#9 2020-01-13 11:48:44

knightdepaix
Member
Registered: 2014-07-07
Posts: 239

Re: Recycling plastics

Thank you Steve Stewart, again for the full of detail post.

Three ideas I would like to add:
1)From past discussion of terraforming Mars by releasing greenhouse gases on Mars, perfluorocarbons had been considered. If hydrofluorocarbons are used as foaming agents, some amount of them are going to Mars where they can be reformed to perfluorocarbons and hydrocarbons. The produced perfluorocarbons are going to be released. For example:

4 CH3F ---> CF4 + 3CH4
2CH2F2 ---> CF4 + CH4
4 CHF3 ---> 3CF4 + CH4

2) The rest are hydrocarbons. Given those, additional hydrocarbons per se used as foaming agents in your detailed post can be collected and reacted with Martian atmospheric carbon dioxide to create carbon monoxide, water, hydrogen and hydrocarbons. A Fischer–Tropsch process can then reform the hydrogen and carbon monoxide content to more hydrocarbons. The water byproduct is useful.

3) Instead of hydrocarbons, organic acids such as propionic acid can be produced en masse. Propionic acid could be prepared from ethylene and carbon dioxide. Ethylene can be prepared from carbon dioxide and hydrogen

knightdepaix wrote:

in http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 49#p149349
9H2+3CO2 --->3H2O+3CO+6H2(The case for mars page 182)
2CO+4H2---> C2H4+2H2O(The case for mars page 182)
C2H4+CO+H2O--->CH3CH2CO2H

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propionic_acid#Production wrote:

In industry, propionic acid is mainly produced by the hydrocarboxylation of ethene using nickel carbonyl as the catalyst:[13]
H2C=CH2 + H2O + CO → CH3CH2CO2H

In total, the reaction becomes
9H2+3CO2--->4H2O+CH3CH2CO2H+2H2
Or if the ratio of reactants is optimized, the reaction then becomes
7H2+3CO2--->4H2O+CH3CH2CO2H

IanM wrote:

in http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php … 76#p149176
Now that you mention it, I was thinking about oxidizing the Carbon present in Acetic and Propionic Acid into sugar (coupled with the reduction of the sulfates in regolith into elemental sulfur) that would then be fermented into CO2 as a terraformation method. The reactions, and net overall reaction, with Propionic Acid would be:
SO4^2-(s) + 4C2H5COOH(l) -> 2C6H12O6(s) + S(s) (Chemosynthesis courtesy of Sulfate-reducing bacteria)
C6H12O6(s) -> 2CO2(g) + 2C2H5OH(l) (Fermentation, courtesy probably of yeast)
SO4^2-(s) + 4C2H5COOH(l) -> 4CO2(g) + 4C2H5OH(l) + S(s) (Overall reaction)

Then the acidic contents in solvent can come from residue of vegetables and fruit as you detailed or from hydrocarbons. Then reducing bacteria can then take mineral or organic salts after acidic neutralization of Martian soil --- that you detailed --- to produce glucose, the chemical elements, in the above example sulfur is produced, and/or oxides of elements. Granted electricity from nuclear power, electrochemistry or thermic process can be part of the whole process to produce metals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, aluminum and silicon.

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#10 2020-01-13 13:59:09

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 7,208

Re: Recycling plastics

Welcome Steve, glad you appreciate the detailed and sustained nature of the discussions here.

Steve Stewart wrote:

Louis,
On the subject of recycling plastics, I have an idea on recycling the packaging used to send supplies to Mars. Supplies sent to Mars will require a lot of packaging, so they will survive a rocket launch from Earth. A popular type of packaging is styrofoam, as it is light weight and has good insulation properties. Styrofoam is made from plastic and uses a foaming agent, usually hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). (Although chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were used in the past).

Suppose the styrofoam packaging were made from organic materials. If the packaging waste were biodegradable and mixed with Martian soil, it would enrich the Martian soil with elements the soil needs to grow plants. This is because the organic styrofoam would contain some of the Essential Elements. "Essential Elements" are the elements needed in the human diet, such as hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, chlorine, and so on.

The point I am making is that processing used plastic into new plastic isn't the only way to recycle plastic. All that is needed to recycle, is to turn the left over packaging into something the base needs, such as fertilizer. A company called Ecovative Design has created a line of styrofoam-like products that are made from fungi and agricultural waste. Perhaps this type of packaging could be used, and then recycled into fertilizer for Martian soil.

The organic styrofoam could be composted if it were made from a compostable plastic (As explained in the link above). This can be done by simply tossing it into a compost pile (Compost bin). However, it might be necessary to make a type of styrofoam that would require a solvent to be broken down. (Similar to packing peanuts that dissolve in water).

Your suggestion of using organic styrofoam sounds good to me and I am sure after the first few missions, producing the solvent would not prove difficult. I'm guessing that for 500 tons of cargo there would at least a couple of tons of packaging, maybe more.

Louis, I know you have mentioned storing energy from solar panels in the form of methane and oxygen. Suppose solar panels were used during the day to produce methane and oxygen, as I believe you have suggested. And suppose the methane was burned at night to produced heat for a greenhouse, say in the form of a Bunsen burner. And suppose that greenhouse contained air that was mostly CO2, and that astronauts wore breathing apparatus whenever they were working in this greenhouse. If the greenhouse contained a Bunsen burner that ran during the night to keep the greenhouse warm, it would burn off any impurities in the air, such as hydrocarbons released from dissolved packaging. The released gasses would not harm humans since they would be wearing breathing apparatus. The gasses could be released safely in this type of greenhouse as long as the concentration of hydrocarbons isn't too high to cause risk of fire/explosion, or cause harm to the plants. Eventually the hydrocarbons would be completely burned off by the Bunsen burner, which in turn would only produce CO2 and water. (Plants need both). Here are the chemical formula's for butane, propane, and methane when they are burned:

Butane:
2(C4H10) + 13(O2) --> 8(CO2) + 10(H2O)

Propane:
C3H8 + 5(O2) --> 3(CO2) + 4(H2O)

Methane:
CH4 + 2(O2) --> CO2 + 2(H2O)

Perhaps other plastics could be recycled in this way, leaving nothing to waste. This includes food packaging that is used by astronauts on their way to Mars. This "waste" should not be discarded into space on their way to Mars, but should be kept and used as a valuable resource once they reach Mars.
smile

Can we ensure some sort of guard for the bunsen burner?  I don't really like the idea of naked flames in a hab on Mars. Apart from that, your approach sounds good to me, as far as I understand the chemistry.

Last edited by louis (2020-01-13 13:59:28)


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#11 2020-01-20 15:36:44

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,674

Re: Recycling plastics

Back here on earth we are struggling with this and more of the trash and rubbish.
Manchester residents to 'talk trash' after city ends rubbish collection at their homes
First element to reduce cost of pick up

residents are being asked to drag their trash bins 60 yards from their homes, while others must pull them about 40 yards.

Many cities are not doing any trash pick or disposal and many a town owned dump have been closed and capped leaving the resident to either do the disposal at cost per bag as well as to call a waste managment company to do the pickup disposal at a hefty cost. This includes the recyclable materials as well for the resident to identify, seperate and even remove items that they will no take as recycling adding to disposal costs.

This is the other boot that is dropping as well for many a community Communities struggle as recycling costs soar to nearly twice that of trash disposal

While it currently costs $71.50 per ton to dispose of regular trash, town officials predict that could rise to $140 per ton for single-stream recycling, where all recyclables are collected together

5e20d86f73abc.image.jpg?resize=400%2C534

Image is single stream and many will not allow all the types of materials that are in this barrel. For instance the paper label on the bottles must be removed and put in with the trash as they contain wax or other sealants.

Fox identified four options: continue the current single-stream recycling program and absorb the extra cost; convert back to a recycling program where all of the material is sorted; implement a hybrid recycling program where glass is separated; or suspend the recycling program altogether and treat everything as trash.

The town typically recycles about 1,500 tons a year. Since it started single-stream recycling in 2010, nearly 14,000 tons of material have been recycled.

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#12 2021-01-24 11:14:50

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,674

Re: Recycling plastics

RobertDyck wrote:

From my local chapter web page: Plastics

Methane
Methane is the smallest hydrocarbon, consisting of a single carbon atom with 4 hydrogen atoms. The majority of this gas will be used for fuel: rocket fuel, rover, or back-up generator. The process is a Sabatier reactor:
CO2 + H2 → CH4 + 2 H2O
An alternate method uses RWGS with electrolysis:
3 CO2 + 6 H2 → CH4 + 4 H2O + 2 CO

Benzene
6 CH4 → 9 H2 + C6H6

Phenol
benzene (C6H6) + hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) → phenol (C6H5OH) + H2O
  or
toluene (C7H8) + permanganate (HMnO4) → phenol (C6H5OH) + something (possibly CO2 + H2O + Mn)

Acetone
made with the Hock process.
Cumene, also known as iso propyl benzene or i-propyl benzene, is oxidized to form cumene hydroperoxide. This step is mildly exothermic, 28kcal/mol. Cumene hydroperoxide is hydrogenated (with a positive hydrogen ion) to form phenol and acetone. It produces 60 kcal/mol.

An alternate process to make phenol converts toluene plus oxygen to benzoic acid plus water, then benzoic acid with oxygen to phenol and CO2. However, although this is easier because it starts with toluene instead of cumene, it doesn't produce acetone. Polycarbonate requires both phenol and acetone.

Polycarbonate (PC)
acetone (C3H6O) + phenol + HCl → bisphenol-A
bisphenol-A + NaOH → sodium salt of bisphenol-A
CO + Cl → phosgene (COCl2)
sodium salt of bisphenol-A + phosgene → polycarbonate

we can also make petrol fuels from the different types as well as some break down into ethane formula products as a gas.

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#13 2022-03-07 17:08:13

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 2,578

Re: Recycling plastics

Scientists Develop Breakthrough Method for Recycling Industrial Plastics at Room Temperature in 20 Minutes
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/upcycli … -uni-bath/

Another discussion
Mushrooms - organic waste recycling, and vegan leather
http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=8179

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#14 2022-03-07 20:22:05

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 5,693

Re: Recycling plastics

If we can infinitely recycle engineering plastic without affecting the quality of the material, then we should be able to make car chassis from plastic, drastically reducing the weight and overall complexity of the fabrication process, as compared to using multiple pieces of steel and/or Aluminum sheet metal that's been stamped and welded together to form a chassis.  In 1997, Chrysler was able to pop a complete 209 pound PET (2,000 plastic soda bottles) fiber-filled plastic chassis and doors out of a mold in about 3 minutes.  The six-piece chassis (chassis and four doors) used recycled plastic.  The entire vehicle weighed 1,199 pounds and was powered by a 25hp / 36ft-lbs torque 0.8L Briggs & Stratton air cooled lawn mower engine.  0-60mph in 23.6 seconds, 70mph top speed.  Today, we can make that same engine crank out 35hp to 50hp.

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#15 2022-03-07 21:45:10

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,674

Re: Recycling plastics

1997 Chrysler CCV Concept - American Citroen 2CV youtube video

Twenty years before the FCA-PSA merger, Chrysler tried to build its own Citroen 2CVCCV_00.jpg


CCV_02.jpg

When completed atop its front-wheel-drive 101-inch-wheelbase chassis, the CCV weighed in at just under 1,200 pounds, returned 50 miles per gallon, topped out at 70 mph, and would have cost around $6,000. At the time a basic, no-frills Neon weighed about twice the CCV and cost about $11,000.

Looks like the PT cruiser that I had....

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#16 2022-03-08 02:47:08

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 5,693

Re: Recycling plastics

SpaceNut,

I would like to tweak Chrysler's CCV concept just a bit, by making the vehicle approximately twice as wide as Chrysler's CCV was, and equipping it with a 57hp opposed two-cylinder Pegasus O-100 engine.  While this obviously won't provide the same fuel economy as the Briggs & Stratton engine, it also produces about 4X as much torque at less than half that lawn mower engine's peak power rpm figure.  It won't win any drag races, but it will at least accelerate well enough to get out of its own way, unlike the original CCV's anemic 23 second 0-60mph performance.  That would likely be slow enough to be dangerous on Houston highways.

The Pegasus O-100 is a custom-built part aviation / part automotive, half Continental O-200 engine.  It's not a Continental Motors product, though, and is the work of a Mr. Pete Plumb.  He created it for his single-seat "Crackerjack" trainer-type aircraft after the supply of suitable Rotax 2-stroke engines dried up.  The O-100 uses a pair of O-200 cylinders / "jugs", CP Carillo forged pistons and connecting rods, custom austentitic ductile iron crankshaft, custom cast Aluminum crankcase, chopped-off O-200 camshaft, and Continental's O-200 / O-300 accessory case that normally mounts dual magnetos, an alternator, and an electric starter.  There are no timing belts or chains in these engines, as everything is gear-driven.  An opposed or "boxer-type" engine will be smoother in operation than any V-twin without balance shafts.  The engine can use a throttle body fuel injector or direct injection into the jugs.  An electronic ignition will be provided via a self-powered CDI accessory in lieu of the pair of 1930s vintage Bendix magnetos.  We'll also add a catalytic converter to reduce emissions and a proper muffler to reduce noise.  The unused pad on the engine's accessory case that was previously home to one of the magnetos, will instead mount an AC compressor for cabin cooling.  Cabin heat will be provided via a thermal transfer loop that extracts heat from the engine's oil tank.

The use of dual plugs is primarily to assure reliable ignition after plug fouling from the Lead in AVGAS messes with the spark, as well as counteracting the general reliability issues associated with magnetos.  That's something which is not typically a serious problem for engines that use unleaded gasoline and CDI, but we will retain the dual-plug feature to reduce emissions by promoting prompt combustion.

Similar to the O-200 and O-300, the O-100 makes its power at low rpm.  All 57hp / 103ft-lbs of torque comes in at only 2900rpm.  That's a lot of usable power without revving the engine to the moon.  O-100 weighs about 105lbs to 110lbs, all-up weight.  We can mount it to a 3-speed Jeep CJ manual transmission, and those weigh about 75lbs.  I figure on another 15lbs or so for a good Aluminum bellhousing, although it should be possible to integrate this into the crankcase for less weight.  Add another 20lbs for the flywheel and clutch.  With engine and transmission mounting hardware, and a full exhaust system, I expect total weight to be 220lbs or so.  That does not include the rear diff or axles, which I expect will add another 60lbs or so.

Anyhow...

600lbs for my CCV2 plastic chassis, 280lbs for the drive train, 200lbs for the suspension components and steel chassis stiffeners, 160lbs for the wheels, 100lbs for the automotive glass mandated here in America, 60lbs for 10 gallons of fuel, and we have a fully functional 1,400lbs highway car that comfortably seats 4 American-sized people.  With four 200 pound passengers we're still at 2,200lbs.  Most of the time we'll be well under that weight figure.  The Dodge Neon's curb weight fell somewhere in that range, so its all-steel construction made it considerably heavier than my CCV2 concept.

This is my "commuter car concept", fully capable of taking the kids to school and the parents to work, without spending crazy money on electronic gadgetry that will inevitably require total replacement, being so costly to replace that the vehicle is not economically repairable.  When the gadget repairs end up costing more money than the vehicle's Blue Book value, that is precisely how otherwise repairable durable goods end up in junk yards, where much of the embodied energy is subsequently lost to recycling and manufacture of more expensive and energy-intensive "next-generation trash" that never manages to reduce energy consumption.  The energy saved in terms of manufacture, operation, and total replacement will enable our working men or women to transport themselves to where they need to go without bankrupting themselves or our nation, which will inevitably lead to the downfall of our technologically advanced civilization.  More importantly, with only 1/3 the fuel consumption of our modern behemoths, we can feasibly extend our existing fossil fuel energy supplies and affordably use intermittent solar or wind energy to synthesize the transportation fuels required make our society function as well as it does.

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#17 2022-03-08 08:12:01

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,895

Re: Recycling plastics

Have been away from the Internet for a few days.  Apologies for things I neglected.

As a general point, plastics will be a much more energy expensive material on Mars because we must synthesise hydrocarbons to make them.  Thermoplastics like PE and PP can be recycled by melting and recasting.  Both will likely be extensively used on Mars as it is easy to cast all sorts of durable components at low temperature with injection moulding.  Of course, some contain colourants and all polymers accumulate damage due to oxidation.  So recycling may not be as easy as it sounds.  Often, recycled plastics won't be used to remake the thing they came from.

Thermoset plastics and oxidised thermo plastics need to be converted back into syn gas using heat and selective oxidation.  This at least reduces the energy needed to make more CO + H2 feedstock.  It would be cool to explore chemical options for converting old plastic into alkenes.  Are there ways of doing this directly without breaking it back down to CO + H2 precursors?  There are big issues at the moment here on Earth with disposing of old wind turbines blades.  They cannot be recycled and even burning them is inefficient because of the glass fibre present.  There could be options for partially oxidising this material in a furnace to produce syngas that is then used to produce methanol or another synthetic fuel.  The same is true for a lot of low moisture, organic trash on both Earth and Mars.  For mixed polymer waste, it may be easier to upcycle into fuel than to process into separate waste streams at high labour cost.  Things to think about.

Last edited by Calliban (2022-03-08 08:14:19)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#18 2022-03-08 08:15:02

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 7,252
Website

Re: Recycling plastics

SpaceNut wrote:

Many cities are not doing any trash pick or disposal and many a town owned dump have been closed and capped leaving the resident to either do the disposal at cost per bag as well as to call a waste managment company to do the pickup disposal at a hefty cost. This includes the recyclable materials as well for the resident to identify, seperate and even remove items that they will no take as recycling adding to disposal costs.

That is a pet peeve. Glenn Murray was mayor of Winnipeg 1998-2004. He tried to push the idea of charging people to pick up trash. But that's what property tax pays for. What does he think property tax is for? It's for basic city services. It's not there to pay 6-figure salaries for some rich spoiled brats to act as dictators. If the city has budget problems, then eliminate senior civil servants aka bureaucrats.

Sam Katz was mayor 2004-2014. He brought in bins; every property got a black bin for garbage, and a blue bin for recycling. No choice, everyone got one. A one-time fee was charged to our water bill to pay for these bins. (grumble!) The bins were designed so a mechanical arm attached to a garbage truck could pick up the bins to empty them. That would reduce garbage crew to one driver, saving the city wages. However, they never got those trucks. Instead they got a little lift (cart tipper) attached to the back of conventional garbage trucks, two per truck. A bin can be rolled over to the lift, then the lift tips the bin into the truck. They still have 3 individuals for every garbage truck, 1 driver and 2 walking to empty bins. If the bins aren't heavy, crews still pick them up and empty into the truck by hand. They only use the lifts if a bin is filled so much that it's too heavy. So what was the point?

This is what they were supposed to get...
Garbage-Truck-960x420.jpg

This is what we actually got... (image not from my city, but the same system)
TL-trash-truck-cart-tippers.jpg

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#19 2022-03-08 18:56:40

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,674

Re: Recycling plastics

kbd512, Of course the upgrades for performance means that price tag just went over that $20,000 dollar value and then some. Of course before we were talking about those with little or bad credit and low income ability to purchase a vehicle.

RobertDyck, the towns at one time had an open dump for residents but as time has now lead to a closing of the dump turning it into a turnkey site for disposal into a large metal dumpster to be hauled away.

The town was doing the one stream but they are looking to go back to separate to make money off from the recyclables.

most cars use 10 to 20 percent currently while with all that is turned in we only recycle 10% at best.

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#20 2022-03-09 02:08:31

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 5,693

Re: Recycling plastics

SpaceNut,

If the average American was a little smaller then we wouldn't need the upgrades.  Even burger flippers are making $15/hr now, so hopefully they have the money for a quality car.  It's a 20 year purchase, rather than a 2 to 5 year purchase.  We're talking about a $6,000 engine, $250 worth of plastic for the chassis, $250 for glass, $1,500 worth of drivetrain components, plus another $1,500 worth of misc parts (head lights, seats) and labor for assembly.  With a 10% profit margin, that's $10,425.

If GM can afford to sell their Chevy Spark for $13,600, a vehicle that's a good 800 pounds heavier, then there's no reason why mass production of a much lighter and lower technology vehicle wouldn't fetch a lower price.  We're choosing to put money into the plastic molding machines and a high-quality and durable engine / transmission combo.

This car is so simple that assembly and disassembly can happen in one hour.  We can disassemble them for recycling, instead of crushing and then chopping them up into little bits.  The engines should last for decades with routine maintenance, even if periodic rebuilds are required.

These are the features NOT present:

* power steering
* power brakes
* power windows
* power door locks
* power mirrors
* power seats
* radio
* electronic transmission
* electronic dash instruments
* electrical fuel pump

What we DO have:

* user-adjustable bucket seats with 5-point harnesses in lieu of air bags
* speedometer with mileage readout
* engine tach
* engine and oil temp
* fuel quantity gauge
* turn signal indicators
* windshield wipers and washer
* cabin air conditioner
* cabin heater
* catalytic converter
* USB ports for charging user-supplied electronic gadgets like a cell phone or iPad

If you've ever seen all the electronic silliness inside a Chevy Spark, there's simply no way this car could ever be as expensive as a Spark.

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#21 2022-05-07 07:54:33

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 2,578

Re: Recycling plastics

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#22 2022-05-07 22:06:37

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,674

Re: Recycling plastics

The plastic grocery bags are not new for bans and some stores did make a reusable bag which were greatly heftier for such a task but they did charge for them was as the regular plastic bags are free.

With recycling as much as we do the fact which gets me is that we reuse on 6% of what is turned in.

So what happens to the remaining?

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#23 2022-06-15 02:44:49

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 2,578

Re: Recycling plastics

Grim reality of world's biggest ocean garbage patch 3 times the size of France
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-new … h-27178189

Nasa asks public to help solve waste recycling for Mars trip
https://www.theguardian.com/science/202 … -mars-trip

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