FINLAND – Finnish non-profit limited liability company, VTT Technical Research Centre has developed its cutting-edge Olefy technology to convert mixed plastic scrap economically into virgin-grade materials.
The company says that the technology is compatible with most types of plastics currently on the market and can extract over 70% of plastics and chemical raw materials components from scrap.
The new process can be done in a single step, majorly reducing the cost of plastic recycling and making recycling a preferred option for massive amounts of landfill-bound plastic waste that current methods are unable to process.
The innovative technology come at a time when only 8–10% of global plastics get recycled primarily through mechanical recycling, as reported by Food Navigator.
Of all plastic waste produced, only a limited share can be mechanically recycled. The resulting recycled plastic cannot be used in food packaging and pharma applications.
“Plastic waste is one of the five major global problems that VTT has strategically set itself to solve,” says Antti Vasara, CEO of VTT.
“Olefy is a quantum leap in recycling that will change the way the world views plastic by making it truly circular and guiding us even faster towards carbon neutrality.”
The technology produces virgin quality materials that enable plastic to be recycled an infinite number of times.
“With the Olefy recycling process, the quality of the plastic is equal to virgin grade, so it can be recycled indefinitely and materials no longer need to end up in landfills,” says Matti Nieminen, Head of Technology at Olefy. “In essence, Olefy will make it possible for plastic to be a true part of the circular economy.”
Olefy’s technology eliminates the need for naphtha feedstock, a crude oil product normally needed for conventional plastic manufacturing, and is also able to produce enough energy for the process.
This technology will help major consumer product companies in their goal to incorporate recycled plastic into their products as well as packages – a typical goal being 25% of their total packaging by 2025.
VTT is successfully running a pilot technology at its VTT Bioruukki Pilot Centre in Espoo, Finland.
The company is currently discussing partnerships and negotiating with investors for scaling, business development, and licensing of the technology, with the first industrial demonstration operation expected to be operational by 2026.
Olefy’s technology has been developed as part of VTT LaunchPad, a science-based incubator, where VTT researchers and technology are brought together with business expertise and investors to renew industries.
VTT LaunchPad supports incubator teams to develop VTT-owned IPR into fundable spin-off com
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