Dow invests heavily on plastics recycling

Melt Filters

The Horgen, Switzerland branch of American company Dow has declared its ambition to “build numerous world-scale, 120,000 metric ton-capacity advanced recycling facilities in the U.S. and Europe” through its collaboration   with London-based Mura Technology.

According to the two businesses, if the proposal is carried out, it will increase the capacity for nonmechanical recycling by up to 600,000 metric tons annually.

According to Mura, its HydroPRS hydrothermal recycling method “uses water in the form of supercritical steam to break down plastics” (water at elevated pressure and temperature). In as little as 25 minutes, the steam acts as a molecular pair of scissors, severing longer-chain hydrocarbon connections in plastics to release the valuable chemicals and oils from which the material was created.

According to Dow and Mura, the procedure can recycle hard-to-sort objects like films, pots, tubs, and trays. The procedure “is designed to function alongside conventional recycling and wider programs to minimize and reuse plastic, such as mechanical recycling (where plastic trash is shredded and re-formed into other plastic items),” the company claims.

The finished oils are “equal to the original fossil products [and] are then utilized to make fresh, virgin-grade plastic with no limit to the number of times the same material can be processed,” according to Mura, creating a “real circular economy for plastic [waste].” Packaging with food is one of the potential end markets, according to Dow.

According to the multinational chemicals and polymers company, it serves as “a significant off-taker of the circular feed that Mura produces” in the relationship. According to Dow, the circular process “reduces dependence on fossil-based feedstocks and will enable Dow to manufacture a recycled plastic feedstock for the development of new, virgin-grade polymers that are in great demand from worldwide brands.”

The first facility employing Mura’s HydroPRS technology is being constructed in Teesside, United Kingdom, and is scheduled to open in 2023 with a production line capable of producing 20,000 metric tons annually. The businesses claim that the output will “provide Dow with a 100% recyclable feedstock.”

With the expanded agreement, this supply is expected to rise significantly, contributing significantly to Dow and Mura’s goal of deploying up to 600,000 metric tons of hydrothermal recycling capacity globally by 2030.

orange and black cargo containers

According to the firms, Mura’s planned capital investments and Dow’s off-take agreements together constitute both companies’ largest commitment to date to enhance and scale up global non-mechanical recycling capabilities.

According to Marc van den Biggelaar, advanced recycling director for Dow, “the strengthening of Dow and Mura’s cooperation is another example of how Dow is trying to build momentum around breakthrough advanced recycling technology.” Dow is committed to advancing a circular economy for plastics, and our expanded cooperation with Mura represents an important step in that direction.

Mura’s technology is meant to champion a global circular plastics economy, and our cooperation with Dow is a vital enabler to bring HydroPRS to every corner of the world,” says Dr. Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology. By taking this next step in our relationship and utilizing the resources given by Dow, we will be able to finance a sharp rise in recycling capacity and enable the widespread use of circular plastics along with the new technology called melt filters by laser filters, in supply chains around the world.

A letter of intent with Atlanta-based Nexus Circular to establish what it calls a circular ecosystem for “previously non-recycled” plastic in Dallas and an investment to build what it calls “the single largest single hybrid recycling site in France, managed by Valoregen,” according to Dow, both of which it claims will secure sources of post-consumer resins (PCR) for the company.

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