Dow invests in waste plastics recycling technology startup
Start-up

Dow invests in waste plastics recycling technology startup

Plastogaz’s proprietary catalytic hydrocracking technology solution is unique in that it is more efficient, and less energy intensive than some other current forms of advanced recycling

  • By ICN Bureau | March 23, 2022
Dow and Plastogaz SA, a technology start-up and proprietor of an advanced recycling technology, have announced a strategic investment, which will help to simplify the process of converting plastic waste to feedstock and provide another carbon-efficient option to keep plastic waste out of landfills and the environment. The collaboration marks another milestone in Dow’s ongoing mission to protect the climate and close the loop on plastic waste.
 
Plastogaz’s proprietary catalytic hydrocracking technology solution is unique in that it is more efficient, and less energy intensive than some other current forms of advanced recycling. Advanced recycling requires highly controlled steps before plastic waste is converted to high-quality hydrocarbons, sufficient to recreate virgin-like plastics, and this technology promises to further simplify the process from waste to circular feedstock and then circular polymers. Ultimately, this aims to both increase the carbon-yields of advanced recycling (efficiency) and to minimize the energy needs for advanced recycling, hence fostering a more circular economy at lower CO2 footprint. The joint aim is to accelerate the commercialization of this process.
 
Dow will bring global reach and materials science expertise to further develop technologies with smaller innovative companies, like Plastogaz, who are developing circular feedstock for plastics, which the global brands require in order to eliminate plastic waste from their value chains and address the plastic waste crisis.
 
Advanced recycling is a complementary process to conventional, mechanical recycling (the method currently most used to recycle plastics). However, the bonus for advanced recycling is that it can recycle traditionally hard to recycle plastics such as multi-layer, flexible plastics used in packaging, usually considered ‘unrecyclable’ and which are frequently incinerated or sent to landfill. Importantly, the recycled products will be suitable for use in food-contact packaging, unlike conventional recycling processes. With advanced recycling there is no limit to the number of times the same material can be recycled, meaning it has the potential to eliminate waste from single-use plastic, creating value not waste. In addition, advanced recycling processes are expected to save approximately 1.5 tons of CO2 per ton of plastic recycled, compared to incineration.
 
Keith Cleason, Business Vice President of Olefins, Aromatics and Alternatives, comments, “This is an important strategic step for Dow and advances our commitment to create circular plastics with the lowest possible CO2 footprint. We are excited to continue to collaborate with innovative start-ups like Plastogaz, who share our ambition to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change and plastic waste, in line with our global sustainability goals.”
 
Felix Bobbink, Founder of Plastogaz, says: “Plastic pollution is a global crisis, and our main goal is to eliminate millions of tons of plastic waste every year and return it into the valuable resource that it is, so it can go on to be used again in a more circular and sustainable way. We want to change the way the world thinks about plastics – not as something to throw away, but as a product that can be used over and over again, sustainably and without damaging our natural environment. If we want to make long lasting change, we need to work with like-minded and ambitious partners like Dow who have the potential to scale our technology.”
 
The ‘lost resource’ of plastic waste is a huge economic opportunity – valued at up to $120bn per year according to the World Economic Forum . By deploying technology capable of recycling more plastics and creating the ingredients for a circular plastics economy, this partnership offers the prospect of dramatically cutting global plastic waste and the emissions it creates.
 
The investment was structured and led by Dow Venture Capital which is focused on pursuing strategic investments in innovative start-up companies that enable and accelerate Dow’s business growth and value.

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