Globally, 340 million metric tons of plastic are produced each year, yet only 9% is recycled. The chemical and plastic industry by their account project that 34 billion metric tons of plastic will be on the face of the planet by 2050, with production generating 2.75 billion metric tons per year of CO2 emissions. Efforts to ban plastics have demonstrated very limited progress on the actual amounts of plastic waste created by cities, and compostable materials are 4x-6x more costly than virgin plastics. Given that society will continue to make and use plastics and alternatives will not be able to replace all of it, the most practical solution must be to invent new recycling technologies that can turn current plastic waste economically into valuable products. Plastic to oil and gasification technologies have upside-down economics, and decades of effort in that space have failed to enable chemical recycling to achieve its true potential.
BioCellection, a circular economy startup in Silicon Valley, invented a new chemical recycling technology: Accelerated Thermal Oxidative Decomposition (ATOD). We source plastic waste that do not have markets from city waste management plants. These plastics are packaging materials like plastic bags, pallet wrap, bubble wrap, etc with food and dirt contamination, color, and other impurities. Our chemical process adds low heat (less than 200C) and oxygen to break down these plastic molecules and make intermediate chemical building blocks. We then purify these chemicals and build back up to finished performance materials. A few differentiating aspects of our technology are:
- our chemical process enables a shortcut to chemical building block production instead of going back to oil and doing 6-8 steps of energy-intensive and polluting chemistry to achieve these building blocks, we produce them directly from polyethylene in 1 step
- our feedstock is what no one else can recycle
we use polyethylene and polypropylene, which are linear plastics that other companies have only been able to turn into fuels. We turn them back into materials.
- we are vertically integrated to high value end products. Not only do we break down the plastics, but we also make high-end products through the supply chain. Our products polyurethane and 3D printing resin allow us to achieve financial sustainability at a smaller scale, enabling decentralized operations and scalp around the world.
We fit this challenge because are a practical approach that enables a market-driven solution to the plastic problem.