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Akron Company Turns Plastic To Fuel

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 10:53am
Associated Press

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A company is spending $20 million establishing a plant in northeast Ohio to convert scrap plastic into fuel.

Sixty tons of plastic a day will go into the plant in Akron to create 300 barrels of petrochemical products used to make diesel fuel and lubricants. That's three tractor-trailer truck loads that would otherwise end up buried in the earth.

Vadxx Energy founder and petroleum geologist Bill Ullom says the project could be the start of a U.S. or even global expansion for the Akron-headquartered company, the Akron Beacon Journal (http://bit.ly/1gWegPz) reported.

"In Ohio alone, we are burying enough plastics to support five to 10 of these plants," noted Russell Cooper, vice president of business development for the company.

Akron welcomed the plant to an east side neighborhood after residents in Cleveland objected to the project.

The city, eyeing potential job growth, did not charge Vadxx for the 5-acre parcel. In exchange, Akron gets a 1 percent stake in the plant's profits.

Brent Hendren, of Akron's economic development office, said the plant will be built on vacant, underutilized land.

"It's a good opportunity to help Vadxx make their first major production plant," Hendren said.

EPA officials say the plant would be a minor pollution emitter.

"We're melting the plastic, capturing fumes and condensing it into a liquid," Cooper said, adding that the process inside a closed unit captures most of the pollution.

About 17 to 18 operators would be needed to run the equipment 24 hours a day.

A groundbreaking for the plant is being planned for April, and the facility should be completed by the end of the year, company officials said.

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