UNZA School of Engineering lecturer and researcher Dr Sam Sichilalu has developed an innovation designed to generate fuel from polymer waste such as discarded tyres, plastic and rubber.

According to a statement issued by UNZA spokesperson Brenda Bukowa, the innovation is aimed at contributing to improved sanitation, cheaper energy and reduction on deforestation.

Dr. Sichilalu has said the poly-fuel innovation will contribute to the control of environmental pollution and reduce dependence on fossil fuels or petroleum.

“This innovation has multiple benefits; it does all these conversions and green purposes without burning, without any emissions. The only by-product we get is chemically neutral charcoal as well as methane gas that can be used to even fuel the same kiln. Methane gas is powering power plants in Europe and once we implement this innovation, we will be able to solve the challenges of plastics, which is the re-use, recycle and reduce which the world knows,” said Dr Sichilalu. “But our solution is a permanent solution; we get back the plastics to where they came from (petroleum). Direct conversion will solve the challenges of sanitation; these plastics block our drainages and act as vector breeding ground for water borne diseases. We can provide our fuel for all households to cook, light their lamps and to power their gensets. After further purification, the poly-fuel can also be used to power our vehicles.”

The innovation that is called “polyfuel prototype” converts waste tyres or plastic materials into high grade polyfuel (industrial fuel) which is a hydrocarbon mixture of petrol, diesel and kerosene with methane vapor.