Plastics manufacturing is typically a double consumer of petrochemicals, using them for both feedstock for the products, as well as fuel to provide the needed energy for the process. But a greener method from LightManufacturing provides a system with low initial costs and low operating costs to manufacture molded plastic objects without the need for any fossil fuels. The process is even applicable with recycled plastic feedstock, making it an even greener process.
Using heliostats to concentrate and reflect the sun’s rays provides the heat imput needed in order to melt the plastic and make it moldable. This eliminates the largest need for fossil fuel in the process. But also, the molding equipment itself is powered from solar panels on the roof of the molding chamber, which allows the whole process to be completely off-grid and entirely solar powered.
In addition to the benefit of having plastic manufacturing without fossil fuels, this also could allow developing countries without an extensive power infrastructure to have this kind of manufacturing capacity domestically, instead of relying on imports for finished goods.
video link: Solar powered plastics molding