Mura and Ghent Uni join forces to extend recycling process to other problem plastics

Article by Adam Duckett

MURA TECHNOLOGY, the firm behind a plastics recycling demonstration plant that’s under construction in the UK, has formed a research partnership with Belgium’s Ghent University to explore how its technology might be used to recycle a wider range of waste.

Mura’s 20,000 t/y demonstration plant at Teesside is set to start operations later this year and will focus on recycling plastics that cannot be mechanically recycled, including the polypropylene pots that yoghurt comes in and the polyethylene used to make bread bags and bleach bottles. These typically end up in landfill or are incinerated.

Under a new five-year partnership, researchers will build a continuous pilot-scale plant at Ghent’s Laboratory for Chemical Technology to explore whether Mura’s Hydro-PRT technology can be used for a wider range of hard-to-recycle plastics including complex composite materials.

Mura says the results of the research will inform the wider application of its technology and help its chemical partners understand the potential of products from circular feedstocks.

Its process uses supercritical steam to crack plastics back into their hydrocarbon components including naphtha and distillate gas oil. The plan is to sell these products to petrochemical companies for use as drop-in feedstocks to produce new plastics. If successful it could help push a circular economy for problem plastics, allowing products to be continuously recycled and remade.

Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology, said: “Our new, long-term partnership with Ghent University will help us understand fully the exciting capabilities of our Hydro-PRT process, enabling us to provide research opportunities and create partnerships with the wider value chain.  The knowledge and expertise of the Laboratory for Chemical Technology in advanced recycling and petrochemical sectors makes them natural partners to help develop the potential of our technology and really showcase the benefits of advanced recycling.”

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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