The Hydro-PRT technology, licensed by Mura and KBR, can recycle end-of-life plastic that would otherwise be incinerated, sent to landfill or leak into the environment. By converting mixed plastics back into fossil-replacement oils and chemicals, Hydro-PRT enables plastic waste to be upgraded into new plastics and other products including road materials.
The HydroPRS system uses supercritical steam to convert plastics back into the oils and chemicals they were originally made from, allowing them to be used for new virgin-grade plastic products with no limit to the number of times the same material can be recycled.
Thanks to the use of the steam, which cuts longer-chain hydrocarbon bonds in plastics to produce valuable chemicals, the process is described as ‘inherently scalable’ when compared to other methods.
“Plastic waste is polluting our environment at an alarming rate, not to mention the carbon emissions caused by utilising the fossil fuels needed to make virgin plastics,” said Dr Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology. “We need global, sustainable, and scalable solutions today.
“This is why we are taking an international approach — to scale fast and meet the challenge head on — and we are proud of the work that will be completed at the Ibaraki plant. Our collaboration with KBR makes this kind of global expansion possible, and we look forward to exploring new future projects with them in Europe and Asia in the coming months.”
Planned to handle 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year with potential to increase future capacity, the Hydro-PRT project will be based at MCC’s Ibaraki Plant in Japan and is expected to complete construction in 2023. Initially, post-industrial plastics will be used for the project. MCC aims to extend the scope of the project and target plastics as raw materials.