Plastic begins its life as light petroleum gas, which is compressed under intense pressure to form a lattice of highly stable plastic molecules.  This molecular structure makes plastic sterile, strong, impermeable, and chemical-resistant. Normally, we think of these as beneficial properties. However, when a plastic item’s useful life is over these properties become problematic.

Today only 15% of plastic waste is recycled. The rest remains in the environment for centuries, where it accumulates in landfills, washes into rivers and oceans, and breaks down into particles or microplastics that permeate our environment.

To deal with the problem of plastic waste, Conversion Energy SystemsSM (CES) reverses the process of plastic creation, turning plastic into gas.  Plastic molecules consist almost entirely of hydrogen and carbon.  Just like natural gas (methane) or gasoline, plastic is a “hydrocarbon” containing massive amounts of latent energy.
fuel heating values

At present, there are over 8 billion tons of waste plastic, and the number grows by over 300 million tons every year.  In addition to despoiling the environment, this is also a complete waste of trillions of BTUs of potential thermal energy!


CES’ patented thermal process “cracks” the molecular bonds that hold plastic together, releasing a clean, energy-rich synthesis gas (syngas) that can be used as a source of power.

First, ground plastic enters the CES Gasification Reactor via a specially designed airlock conveyance mechanism.  The Gasification Reactor remains airtight and heated to optimum gasification temperature by a combination of heat released from the gasification process itself supplemented by indirect heat from specially designed electric heating elements.

When heat is applied to carbon-based molecules, like plastic, the bonds between carbon and other atoms that make up the molecule (hydrogen in the case of plastic) break or “crack”.  Processing is carefully monitored and controlled by the proprietary CES Automated Control Interface (ACI).  As oxygen in the Reactor is controlled to produce an optimal grade of syngas, the temperature is also controlled to remain at 1100 – 1200 ° F.

The syngas from the Gasification Reactor is then treated (cooled, dried, filtered and compressed) prior to feeding a generator set and producing electricity, or, if the energy content of the feedstock is not high enough, drawn into an oxidizer where it is combined with oxygen and ignited at temperatures exceeding 2000° F, generating substantial heat and eliminating volatile contaminants. Depending on customer requirements, heat from the system can also be used to produce hot water or convert to steam.


Through extensive testing, CES has developed algorithms that allow for precision electronically controlled airflow through the system. This generates several operational and economic benefits:

Speed: Precisely metered airflow acts as a catalyst speeding the thermal conversion process.

Efficiency: A self-sustaining gasification process to operate with minimal external energy

Maximum heat: Precision-controlled oxygen maximizes energy content of syngas


CES’ proprietary Human-Machine Interface (HMI) provides the operator with real-time access to all operating parameters, intuitive system control, and is embedded with automated control technology which minimizes the need for operator oversight. The HMI provides fast, reliable, and intuitive access to all control and safety systems, as well as a detailed recording of control surface positions, temperatures and pressures which are downloadable for analysis.

The HMI is field-case mounted and linked to the unit with an umbilical cable with quick-connect fittings, allowing great flexibility in locating the ACI and securing it when it is not in use.