Supporting the circular economy through innovative technologies
Plastic pollution has become an increasing challenge. We can find plastic in the fields, water, and scientists have even discovered microplastics deeply embedded in the Arctic ice. ‘Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate our marine environments’ says the Ocean Conservancy. The economy has recognised that we should do something for our planet, and companies have started working on the issue. Recycling Technologies is one of these; they strive to make plastic a more sustainable material. Based in Swindon, they want to bridge the waste sector and the petrochemical industry to enable a circular economy where plastic can be continuously recycled.
Recycling Technologies has successfully developed its technology to convert waste plastic into Plaxx®, a feedstock for the chemical industry to manufacture new plastic. The technology harnesses pyrolysis to break down the plastic. It now operates a bench-top scale (1kg/hr plastic feed rate), and a Beta Plant in Swindon (100kg/hr) at the Household Recycling Centre at Cheney Manor to demonstrate how plastic can be recycled using this process. During the Beta Plant design phase, Recycling Technologies asked Sterling Thermal Technology to help them to find the right heat exchange solution. “We were confident that they could support us as they have more than a century of experience” said Dale Rautenbach, Manufacturing Director at Recycling Technologies.
We started our collaboration with technical discussions, which led Recycling Technologies to engage us to design and manufacture the Beta Plant’s heat exchangers. That plant underwent various tests to collect valuable process data. It’s now the basis for Recycling Technologies’ full-scale plastic chemical recycling machine called the RT7000; a plant capable of recycling 7,000 tons of residual plastic waste per year.
Recycling Technologies contracted Sterling Thermal Technology to assist with the waste heat recovery unit of the RT7000.
It was a long process, but we were delighted to help Recycling Technologies to deliver on their mission of accelerating ‘the evolution of plastic into a more sustainable material through innovation and technical excellence’. “Overall, we are excited to have delivered our expertise to support Recycling Technologies to tackle such an important issue of our time. We are proud to have contributed to a cleaner planet through innovative technologies”, said Mile Vujicic, Sterling TT’s Business and Technology Development Director.