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Plastic waste turned into Gas

Finding a sustainable way to dispose of plastic waste has never been so important. But not so for Mr Peterson Kinyua and Francis Kinyua who have come up with an innovation that uses plastic waste to produce cooking gas.
Kinyua who hails from Kiangombe in Gichugu constituency says he came up with the innovation after realizing the community faced a challenge in getting rid of the plastic waste. “I came up with this idea in 2017 and set to complete it in just one month, but as you can see we are yet to finalize the production due to financial constraints,” Kinyua said.
He said the innovation could provide jobs for the youth in that they could be hired to collect the plastic waste; the raw material that he uses to produce the gas. That is after burning the waste in a furnace.
“Shortage of finances has made us lag behind. We are looking for money to buy a pump which we intend to use in pumping the gas,” Kinyua said adding so far the project has cost them close to Sh 100,000 which they have used in the creation of the furnace and the several tanks used in the distillation of the fuel.
“The process involves breaking the plastic waste into pieces which are then put into the furnace before they are heated to liquid form. The liquid is then turned into vapor which is then cooled down and comes out in form of a gas,” he explained.
He said so far they have managed to fill several gas cylinders adding a 6kg gas cylinder took four days to fill. “If we can manage to acquire a machine to compress the gas, the four days we use to fill the cylinder could be reduced to just minutes” Kinyua noted.
He says he had to overcome the challenge of being mocked by the members of the community who kept telling him that the project would come to naught. “This almost made me lose hope but Francis encouraged me and even supported me financially. Since then we have partnered up to this moment but we still require more resources to improve the project,” Kinyua went on.
The two Jua Kali artisans say they intend to complete the project and have the product approved by the Energy Regulation Authority, before they finally start mass production for the local community and beyond.
Kinyua said some government officers paid them a visit and promised assistance but are yet to do so. He said the officers encouraged them to move on with the project which they agreed helped members of the community to get rid of the plastic waste. “We have managed to provide a way out for the villagers in disposing of their waste in that they deliver the same to us whenever they come across one,” Kinyua said.
He said they intend to expand their catch to the entire Kirinyaga count after the approval of the project by the relevant authorities.
The government outlawed use of plastic carrier bags due to grave environmental damage caused by their use.

By Irungu Mwangi

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