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Recycling

Enzymatic recycling: CARBIOS inaugurates industrial demonstration plant - Scalability • License concept • Unlimited recycling


On September 29, 2021, we were invited to attend the opening event of the industrial demonstration plant in Clermont-Ferrand / France. Carbios pursues two goals on the installed system: validating the efficiency of its enzymatic recycling process and developing the specifications for future plants on a large industrial scale.

More than ten years of development work have gone into the C-ZYME® technology*. With the formation of a consortium around Carbios in April 2019, consisting of L’Oréal, Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe, Carbios received support from the industry. In the same year, L’Oréal and Michelin acquired shares in the company and, more recently, L’Occitane, which now hold 5.91%, 4.36% and 2.36% of Carbios’ capital, respectively.

The commissioning of the demonstration system marks the cumulation of the C-ZYME development. It represents the last step before commercialization.

The resulting green-colored liquid is decolorized and purified in the subsequent hydrolysis in several steps. The separated impurities, including the enzymes, are discharged in the process as so-called “cakes”. The resulting monomer batches PTA and MEG are the starting material or feedstock for the repolymerization.

A team of 10 people is now responsible for producing the monomer batches on the demonstration plant and optimizing the operating parameters. They also take care of the technical and regulatory validations to ensure the defined specifications and quality features for future licensees. An initial hydrolysis has been successfully realized, which confirms that the process can be scaled up.

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