University of South Africa
Overview of innovation

The invention entails an energy-generating system that makes use of polyethylene plastics that would otherwise result in environmental pollution to produce synthesis gas (syngas). Unlike conventional gasification systems that rely on oxygen, this system ensures that the gasification of polyethylene to generate syngas takes place in an anaerobic state, completely removing the air separation step, and therefore significantly lowering energy costs. A novel feature of this system is its ability to recover a portion of the latent heat of water, allowing for a significant improvement in energy production over more conventional designs. This system converts non-recycled plastics into power, turning harmful waste material into something useful.

Due to its low production costs and flexible material properties, plastic finds application in multiple areas. However, the disposal of plastics without landfilling remains an environmental concern, as plastic does not decompose. Moreover, with the expected increase in the standard of living, the global production of plastic is expected to grow. Gasification can help with the management of plastic disposal processes while ensuring energy generation.

Type of Intellectual Property protection
Innovation Opportunity Type
​Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
Renewable Energy
Green Energy
Technology Readiness Level
TRL 6 – Prototype tested in real-world settings