Battlefield Plastic Waste to Energy

General Atomics (GA), along with West Central Cooperative (West Central), was awarded a contract for design, construction, and developmental testing of a biofuel system designed to recover energy from plastics associated with “battlefield clutter”. Battlefield clutter consists of wastes that result from materials shipped to the front lines to support our troops in the field. Many of these wastes are plastics with a high fuel value.

With today’s environmental regulations, battlefield clutter has become a growing problem for military base logistics. This project is for development of a reactor system to dispose of battlefield clutter accumulated at forward bases using a unique process that improves the autonomy and self-sufficiency of the bases by using plastics in biofuel for diesel generator operation. Research will be performed to determine conditions required for plastic dissolution in biofuel, and determine diesel engine operating parameters with various biofuel/plastic solutions. The project will develop a prototype system and demonstrate its efficacy for military applications.