Workers busy working on the recycled fuel.

The Dung Beetle Project is now in the testing phase of turning plastic into fuel

Dung Beetle innovation and creation is gaining speed here in the cold wintery south of Johannesburg, South Africa. We now have a new small working batch system developed to test different gasification rates and condensates (the useful oils and gas we get from plastic and in what conditions).

We are also continuing to reach out to various stakeholders and players in the waste plastic and recycling industries here in South Africa and the region. The outpouring of interest has been amazing!

Check out our not-so-poopy new video below:

Here in South Africa only about 20% of all the 1.3 billion kilograms of plastic (yes you read that right) produced, is recycled. We are trying to target the 80% that isn’t so that we can work side by side with those already invested in re-using waste plastic. The sad fact is that there is plenty of waste plastic to go around, but that also means that there is a lot of potential to grow this industry.

So, of course, our small team of innovators has been wracking our brains trying to come up with some way to fund all of this expensive research and development. Since we aim to get our basic design out into the open source world, we have reached out to various international platforms in order to best understand how to safely release our system and how we can make sure that it gets used as widely as possible.

For now, we are coasting a bit, making connections and getting ready to drive forward with more practical financial solutions so we can keep the ideas and solutions flowing. In the meantime, we will continue to innovate and up-skill our fabrication team, and we will keep you all abreast of events from this page and our upcoming Beetle Newsletter.

Feel free to drop us some loose change if you feel like supporting our crowd-funding platform here in its infancy. We will also be rolling out many more cool ideas for crowd-involvement because we firmly believe that to deal with this problem we are all going to need to be as engaged as possible. There will be many ways to get involved, so stay tuned, and share our project widely. That helps a lot!

Check out these images of our new batch machine, with Judith Biti and our chief welder Marshal Matsveru. Judith is the director of The AWN Recycling Centers in Johannesburg. She has been working with us to make sure our designs are best suited to deal with the waste plastic streams that she cannot re-use. Thanks, Judith!

Jeffrey Barbee
The Dung Beetle Project Director