(PhysOrg.com) -- Plastic bags help you carry your groceries home, they make excellent liners for smaller-sized trash cans, and now they can help you to heat your home. A Japanese inventor has found a way to convert plastic grocery bags, bottles and caps into usable petroleum.
Plastic bags are, of course, made from petroleum to begin with, but it is not the same kind of petroleum that is used in fuel. In order to turn home waste into home power the machine heats up the waste plastic and traps the vapors created in a system of pipes and water chambers. Finally, the machine condenses the vapors into crude oil, that can be used for heating on the home level.
This is not the first device of this kind. A large power plant which is located just outside of Washington, D.C., is currently testing a similar process for use on the community level. This is simply the first device of this kind that is meant for use on a single-home scale.
The machines conversion process can turn two pounds of plastic into one quart of oil, using only one kilowatt-hour of energy. The crude oil produced can then either be used in a power generator or be further refined into gasoline, though one would need a second machine to complete the refining process and create gasoline.
Many home users will be deterred by the initial cost, since the machine currently runs about $10,000. The developer hopes that the cost will be reduced as the demand for the device increases. The device is named the carbon-negative system and it is being sold by the Blest Corporation.
Explore further: Opposition to plastic grocery bags grows