Jan
08
2009

A patent on recycling?

Recycling plastic: A patent on sorting, grinding, and reusing plastic for manufacturing or energy
Recycling plastic: A patent on sorting, grinding, and reusing plastic for manufacturing or energyCourtesy Meaduva

Don't throw it away. Recycle.

Each day millions of tons of plastic and organic products are "thrown away". Where is "away"? Probably a land fill. A better idea would be to somehow recycle these materials into a useful product, or use it as a source of energy.

Plastic and cellulose waste recycling idea "owned"

A new patent application claims that a blend of waste plastic and cellulose from plant material can make a good building material or the plastic/cellulose mix could be burned for fuel. (click to view patent application, 38pg PDF)

It would be beneficial to develop a process that can efficiently and cost effectively convert multiple types of waste byproducts into useful materials usable for: (i) heat and/or energy generation; and/or (ii) structural, sound attenuation, and/or insulation materials.

Do you think "Recycling" should be patented?

Would someone explain what this patent does? To me it claims to own the concept of turning garbage into stuff or burning it. If someone works out detailed methods of doing what is described in the blockquote above, would they have to pay money to the person who patented the concept?

Sources:
" Invention: Recycled trash construction materials" New Scientist
Abstract: "Blending Plastic and Cellulose Waste Products for Alternative Uses"

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bryan kennedy's picture

I'm not against patents for unique technology as long as they aren't overly broad. You might be interested in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's, Is it Patentable article. They say:

Two months ago, in In re Bilski, the Federal Circuit rejected the notion that anything that produces a "useful, concrete, and tangible result" is potentially patentable. Instead, to be patent-eligible, an idea must be "tied to a particular machine or apparatus," or it must "transform a particular article into a different state or thing." (To qualify for a patent, it also has to meet various other requirements, such as being novel.)

So if they were able to create a machine or apparatus that transformed trash into something new (fuel) and it was a novel method for doing this, then it would be patentable.

I'm no lawyer of course, but that's my reading of the subject.

posted on Fri, 01/09/2009 - 3:53pm
RecycleBill's picture

Almost every recycling idea ever developed was at one time a patented idea. Had the "scientist" writing the blog figured out how to do it then he'd not be complaining about the patent. ;-)

posted on Sat, 01/10/2009 - 7:03pm
cent0012's picture
cent0012 says:

Without patents and profit there will be little reason for people to invest into developing recycling technologies. Better to have a process patent protected for only 10 years rather than not having a process at all

posted on Fri, 01/16/2009 - 12:52pm
lsmi1101's picture
lsmi1101 says:

If people only knew how much of a difference it would make if they just recycle one bottle or shorten their tv time by one hour...then our problem wouldnt be as bad as it is today.

*Class Of 2011*

posted on Fri, 01/16/2009 - 12:56pm
Candace's picture
Candace says:

i didnt know that much trash is thrown away in a day.

posted on Wed, 02/25/2009 - 10:47am

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options