igus announced it has invested more than $5 million in a commercial plant that will recycle plastic waste within 20 minutes. Using Cat-HTR (Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor) technology, the process will enable oil obtained from the recycling to make new polymer products.
igus, the Germany-based manufacturer of motion plastics, runs its North American operations out of Providence, R.I.
igus now invests four million British pounds ($5.1 million) in Mura Technology Limited and the construction of the first Cat-HTR plant. The patented chemical Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (abbreviated: Cat-HTR) technology was developed in 2007 and tested in a pilot plant in Australia for 10 years. With Cat-HTR technology, plastic waste that was previously impossible to recycle can be converted back into oil within 20 minutes.
The process is more efficient than the extraction of fossil fuels from the ground. Only water, high temperatures and pressure are used to separate the cells and join them together. One plant alone can process 20,000 metric tons of plastic per year and reduce CO2 output by 28,180 metric tons.
The first commercial Cat-HTR-plant is currently being planned in Wilton, Great Britain, and construction is to start this year. Waste companies supply the waste plastic to meet their recycling goals. Oil is then obtained that can be sold as a replacement for virgin fossil oil. A total of four catalytic hydrothermal reactors are to be built in Wilton and will be able to process more than 80,000 metric tons of plastic waste every year.
As a next step, Mura is planning to issue licenses worldwide and build new plants.