Australia consumes 3.4 million tonnes of plastic each year, of which only 9% is recycled1. Licella Holdings Ltd (“Licella”), global technology pioneer, is delighted to announce a partnership with BioLogiQ, Inc. (“BioLogiQ”), bioplastic innovators, to drive towards a circular economy for plastics by accelerating the commercialisation of Licella’s breakthrough Cat-HTR™ (‘Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor’) chemical recycling solution.
Licella and Australian partner iQ Renew, with the support of BioLogiQ, will commercialise the Cat-HTR™ technology in Australia, while global partner Mura Technology (“Mura”) will be working alongside BioLogiQ to bring the Cat-HTR™ solution to China.
The Cat-HTR™ technology is able to recycle End-of-Life Plastics, which would otherwise be sent to landfill, back to the chemicals they originally came from. These chemicals can then be used to make new plastics, a truly circular solution for post-consumer plastic.
“At the heart of the Licella and BioLogiQ partnership is a shared vision for a more sustainable future. By pioneering a circular solution for all plastics, we can utilise the massive amount of plastic already in circulation as a resource, preventing plastic from leaking into the natural environment, reducing our need for fossil oil and significantly reducing carbon emissions.” Licella CEO, Dr Len Humphreys, said.
Chemical recycling with the Cat-HTR™ technology plays an essential role in transitioning to a circular economy for plastics, helping to close the loop by recycling previously non-recyclable plastics. Chemical recycling supports the established waste hierarchy, with significant carbon (CO2) emission reductions compared to Waste to Energy (incineration). In fact, converting End-of-Life PE (polyethylene) to liquid hydrocarbon products with the Cat-HTR™ process creates 80-100% more value than Waste to Energy, and produces 45% less CO2 emissions.
Unlike techniques such as pyrolysis, the Cat-HTR™ technology can recycle a blend of End-of-Life Plastics that include polypropylene, polystyrene, soft plastics (low density PE) and multilayer flexible plastic packaging, without the need to sort plastics into a single stream. This process flexibility increases the total quantity of plastic that can be recycled and therefore the process economics. The Cat-HTR™ process produces a high yield of oil from plastic (around 85% oil, with the balance as gas that can be recycled to power the process).
BioLogiQ Founder and CEO, Brad LaPray, said of the partnership, “We believe the Cat-HTR™ technology has cracked the code of scalable, efficient, and economical chemical recycling. This collaboration represents an investment in our future. BioLogiQ customers will know they are supporting a bioplastics company that is as seriously committed to recycling as themselves. By accelerating and supporting the commercialisation of chemical recycling, BioLogiQ takes another big step in its quest to make plastics better.”
In Australia alone, there is the potential for 20 to 30 commercial-scale Cat-HTR™ plants. With chemical recycling, Licella can recover and recycle almost all plastic we use today, including plastic with a renewable feedstock such as BioLogiQ’s own innovative NuPlastiQ® Biopolymer.
Central to the Licella and BioLogiQ partnership is the ongoing support of local and global Cat-HTR™ commercial partners. In Australia, Licella’s partner iQ Renew will commercialise the Cat-HTR™ technology for End-of-Life Plastic, while their partner Mura will bring the Cat-HTR™ technology to the rest of world, with a particular focus, alongside BioLogiQ, to commercialise the Cat-HTR™ technology in China. With China effectively banning the import of foreign waste in January 2018, a huge opportunity exists to build Cat-HTR™ chemical recycling plants to help deal with China’s own massive quantities of post-consumer plastic.
By accelerating the Cat-HTR™ solution globally, this alliance is helping the world deal with the estimated 111 million metric tons of plastic waste that will be displaced by the Chinese import ban by 20302.
1 Department of the Environment and Energy 2019. 2017–18 Australian Plastics Recycling Survey – National report. Viewed 6 January 2020 https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/3f275bb3-218f-4a3d-ae1d-424ff4cc52cd/files/australian-plastics-recycling-survey-report-2017-18.pdf
2 Brooks A, et al. 2018. The Chinese import ban and its impact on global plastic waste trade. Science Advances Vol. 4, no. 6 sciadv.aat0131
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