Plastic-recycling Pyrowave wins first place at an international chemistry and new materials contest
Montreal, June 20th, 2017 – Pyrowave is proud to announce that it won the first prize at the 6th edition of the IQ-CHem International Chemistry Innovation Competition organized by SIBUR, one of the largest chemical group in Moscow, Russia. In total, 251 teams from 27 countries took part in the international IQ-CHEM contest with applications from Russia, India, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States.
The final presentation took place at the Skolkovo Startup Village 2017 and involved a judging panel comprised of directors and executives from companies such as The Dow Chemical Company, Linde, LG, Honeywell UOP, DuPont, 3M, BASF and Sinopec.
“We’re very proud to win this award, of course because it rewards the extensive work we’ve put into the project, but also because of the high technical level of the finalists we competed against”, says Jocelyn Doucet, CEO of Pyrowave. “Participating in and winning this competition gives Pyrowave enormous international exposure to key chemical companies that care about environmental sustainability of chemical operations”.
«The winner of the IQ-CHem contest was selected as a result of independent evaluation by each member of the jury, which was comprised of representatives from major global corporations. As a result of their independent assessments, the company Pyrowave was selected as the best» said Dmitry Stepkin, Director of Corporate R&D at SIBUR «The jury assessed that the technological solution offered by Pyrowave – of using microwave radiation to deploymerise plastic, using technology that has already been proven in other areas of usage – is an idea with strong market potential», he added.
A solution to a worldwide problem
The key element that differentiated Pyrowave was the size of the potential market for the technology. Plastic pollution is a central problem and Pyrowave is proposing the first commercial modular technology that consists of small machines using microwave to depolymerize (or deconstruct) the plastic material. “It’s like un-zipping the plastic into their initial constituents with the very targeted action of microwaves so that plastic manufacturers can easily re-zip them into new plastics that can be used in identical applications”, says Jocelyn Doucet.
Pyrowave’s process is the first commercial process that can convert polystyrene waste into Recycled Styrene Monomer (RSM) with up to 90% yield and is supported by several actors from the polystyrene value chain including manufacturers, transformers, retailers and recyclers.
Looking for supply partners and investors
Pyrowave is ramping up production of its Valleyfield, Quebec, facility currently in operation processing post-consumer polystyrene. Pyrowave is presently looking for partners interested to supply waste polystyrene volumes to be converted into RSM which can be re-used to make virgin-like polystyrene material. It has already supply in place from various municipal sorting facilities as well as private retailers, brand owners and recyclers.
“We are basically offering our long-term partners a possibility to recycle all their polystyrene waste including foodservice items, and convert them into commodities traded on a worldwide market”, adds Jocelyn Doucet. “We are currently working at filling up capacity of our first machine in operation, but our long-term model is to lease machines to partners and take care of the output for them”.
The company is also looking for investors interested to join its current series A. The funds will allow Pyrowave to build and install additional machines to increase the production capacity of Recycled Styrene Monomer. “We have contracts in place with the largest polystyrene companies and we need additional capacities to be able to match the enormous demand for recycled chemicals”, concludes Jocelyn Doucet.
Only 8% of plastics generated today are recycled – yet the costs to haul, store, sort and process plastics are enormous. Using patented Catalytic Microwave Depolymerization (CMD), Pyrowave places small, modular units directly onsite at recycling facilities and at producers of plastic waste. Pyrowave has one machine in operation producing the world’s first Recycled Styrene Monomer (RSM) from post-consumer polystyrene waste that is sold to large polymer companies. Pyrowave’s technology enhances the rate and the range of recyclable materials, reduce logistics costs and produce higher value end products from waste plastics – products such as recycled wax, oil and monomers. Pyrowave has a growing impact on the environment by promoting resource efficiency. Its technology will reduce waste landfilling, waste incineration and waste hauling via a net positive energy process.
The contest themes covered various areas within the petrochemicals industry, including “Cutting-edge equipment and technological solutions to increase operational efficiency in chemical-technological processes”, “Technologies and products for the production of basic monomers and the production and application of special chemicals”, “Technologies and products in gas processing and transportation”, and “Technologies and products in the production and application of new plastics and elastomers”. In total, 251 teams from 27 countries took part in the international IQ-CHEM contest. The largest number of applications came from teams in Russia, India, Canada, the Netherlands and the United States.