Our MoReTec molecular recycling technology
A great deal of research goes into creating the plastic packaging that we use every day. Perishable products such as snacks and bakery items need specially designed packaging barriers to maintain freshness and to keep food from being wasted.
Vegetables that go from the freezer to the microwave require high-performance packaging that can withstand temperature extremes. Plastic bottles that contain household cleaning products must protect from leaks and harmful fumes, and must not be able to be opened by children.
But these complexities in plastics’ design and function make recycling them a challenge, and not all recycling facilities can accept all types of plastics.
Even when plastics can be recycled using mechanical recycling techniques, their use has limitations. Mechanical recycling shreds, cleans, melts and pelletizes thewaste without significantly changing the chemical structure. While the resulting plastic resins can be safely used in numerous industrial, household and consumer product applications, they are often not suitable for food packaging and medical supplies.
Molecular recycling is an advanced recycling technique that uses a pyrolysis process to break down plastic waste into its component molecules, rather than cutting it into small pieces, for use as feedstock in the manufacturing process. The new plastic resins created can be used in all applications including food packaging and medical supplies, and have the potential to reduce the industry’s dependence on fossil fuels as more and more plastics can be repurposed into new materials.
We are developing a proprietary molecular recycling technology, called MoReTec, that uses a catalyst in the pyrolysis process to improve the breakdown of plastic waste. We believe our MoReTec technology will have significant potential because of its lower energy use and more efficient chemical conversion process, which will allow increased commercial scale. Our collaboration with Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) proved the efficiency of the MoReTec technology at laboratory scale.
During 2019, we screened potential catalyst systems and tested a variety of plastic waste streams. In July 2020, we commissioned a small-scale pilot plant at our site in Ferrara, Italy. We plan to develop optimum process conditions to make the MoReTec technology scalable to a semi-industrial proof-of-concept plant by 2021.
MoReTec is a proprietary technology that improves the breakdown of plastic waste.