Supercritical steam process can convert all plastic waste into virgin materials

UK-based Mura technology is pioneering a globally scalable solution that can recycle all forms of plastic waste into virgin plastic, reduce CO2 emissions and promote a sustainable “circular” plastics economy over the next decade. ReNew Elp is currently building the world’s first commercial-scale facility in Teeside, UK, backed by global partners and the UK government. The plant is expected to be operational by 2022.

Mura’s proprietary HydroPRS uses the Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR), one of Licella Holdings Ltd. developed and owned by Licella Holdings Ltd. technology that decomposes plastics using water in the form of supercritical steam (water at elevated pressure and temperature). The steam acts like molecular scissors, cutting longer-chain hydrocarbon bonds in plastics to create the valuable chemicals and oils from which the plastic was originally made. All this in just 25 minutes. By using supercritical steam, the technology is inherently scalable. In contrast to other methods in which waste is heated from the outside, the steam gives off energy from the inside and thus ensures a far more efficient conversion of plastic waste. A process that can be maintained regardless of scale.

It has been reported that this process can be used to recycle all types of plastic – including “non-recyclable” products such as multilayer, flexible plastics used in packaging, with no limit to the number of times the same material can be recycled. This means it has the potential to eliminate single-use plastics and create the raw materials for a circular plastics economy, creating value rather than waste.

Handover of a new Teeside system (front)

The plant in Teeside can process 80,000 tons of plastic annually. It will provide the blueprint for a rapid global rollout that will see a million tonnes of capacity under development globally by 2025 – reportedly nearly half the plastic packaging waste produced annually in the UK. Locations are planned in Germany, the USA and Asia.

Dr. Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology, said, “We are at the tipping point of an environmental disaster – it is time to take the initiative and put an end to plastic pollution around the world. HydroPRS is a win-win situation for the environment, economy and society and helps ensure that our environment is free of plastic and oil where it belongs – in the ground. We have to act now, and that’s why we’re taking a global first approach – to scale quickly and take on the challenge directly. We are working with global partners to deploy our unique HydroPRS process where it is needed today to create a sustainable future and eliminate plastic pollution. “

To support rapid global deployment, Mura has announced a number of global strategic partnerships.

▪ In January, the company signed an agreement with Houston-based engineering firm KBR Inc. to license the technology to customers worldwide. KBR has also invested in the company.

▪ Igus GmbH (US office in East Providence, RI) has entered into a partnership with Mura through a strategic investment to support the first plant in Teesside. Multinational engineering firm Wood has been named EPC contractor for the Teesside project. The Teesside project is being developed by ReNew ELP, the UK subsidiary of Mura Technology.

Earlier this year, it was first recognized that advanced recycling contributes to government goals for recycled plastics and supports measures such as the proposed plastic tax on recycled content in packaging.

Rebecca Pow MP, Secretary of State for DEFRA (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) said: “The government is committed to both curbing the unacceptable plastic waste that harms our environment and ensuring that more materials can be thrown away instead to become. By investing in these truly breakthrough technologies, we will help drive these efforts even further, and I look forward to them evolving and delivering real results. “

Mura's Hydro PRS process uses supercritical steam to convert waste plastic into virgin material

Handover of a new Teeside facility (back).

The concept was also supported by environmental associations that are committed to overcoming the plastic waste crisis. Jo Ruxton, founder of Ocean Generation and producer of the Netflix documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean’, said, “Every year more than eight million tons of plastic enter our oceans – that’s unacceptable. It is of the utmost importance that we live more sustainably with plastic, reduce our need for plastic, and then find ways to prevent it from entering our precious environment. Technologies like this are a big piece of the puzzle. “

Mura is in advanced talks with global brands and investors to fund and deploy HydroPRS and use the raw materials it produces to eliminate the need for new plastic and meet consumer demand for action.

Muras Dr. Mahon said, “The problem is not plastic, it ends there. We want to change the way the world thinks about plastics – not as something to be thrown away, but as a valuable resource that can be used over and over again without harming our natural world. “

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