Back to earth



Name: Habiba Mukhtar

Nationality: British-born, living in the Netherlands for 19 years

Institution / Company:



-FINALIST of Archi-Hack: Oil Platform Competition


“Back to earth” is a vision where oil structures are adapted for plastic end-phase management. The project, based on Shell’s Appomattox, reuses its existing infrastructure for depolymerising plastic, transforming it into carbon, and sending it back into the emptied oil reservoir. Whilst plastic reuse is encouraged, this continues to release microplastics in our environments and directly within us. Plastic does not decompose, but it can be broken into simpler structures: depolymerisation. This is an energy-intensive chemical process, but perhaps oil platforms can be adapted to take on this role, as both the starting and ending point of oil-based plastics.

I chose the Appomattox because it is self-sustaining; it produces and reuses its own water, it produces 150MW of electricity using waste heat from oil production, and it is a semi-submersible floating structure with variable buoyancy. In the new situation it is powered by Calwaves’ experimental wave energy units, but both the station and the depolymerisation process can make good use of existing water recycling systems, waste heat reuse, and the general high temperature and high pressure equipment.


#Fossil fuels, Gas & Oil #Alternative energy sources #reuse #waste management #end-phase plastic

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