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GR3N launches industrial demonstration plant for its Microwave Assisted DEpolymerization (MADE) recycling technology

Lugano, Switzerland

Completed the last stage before the commercialization of its breakthrough technology: starting the countdown to become the world's leading supplier of PET and polyester from recycled monomers.

GR3N a company that developed an innovative alkaline hydrolysis process to recycle all the packaging and textile PET waste into building blocks , announced the official opening and launch of an industrial demonstration plant operating with its microwave assisted technology, MADE, which was installed on GR3N’s research and manufacturing facility in Albese con Cassano, near Lake Como.

“This is another step ahead for GR3N, as it will allow us to increase our capacity and then test the material, that we can produce with our own polymerization line, for several applications ,” said Dr. Maurizio Crippa, GR3N Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “When you develop a new process the upscaling is a pivotal step. Being able to receive feedstock and transform it into new PET chips at scale will help us demonstrate that obtaining pure monomers is the only way to obtain virginlike PET”.

Tomra May 2024

The demo plant will be able to shred the input material, depolymerize it, purify TPA and MEG using a solid process, and then producing new PET chips via a dedicated 500Kg polymerization reactor. This new industrial demonstration plant was designed as the industrial plant, with technical solution that can be easily scalable, and in some cases, like crystallization and distillation, using “state of the art” technology. An initial hydrolysis has been successfully realized, confirming the upscaling of the process; the optimization of the operating parameters is still underway.

"The demonstration plant includes a depolymerization reactor capable of processing 60 Kg of PET per hour, which is the equivalent of almost 2000 bottles, the yearly consumption of 2 people. This is a turning point for GR3N, as with this plant we will be able to fine-tune the process the already existing Process Design Package of the 40K Tons industrial plant ," added Dr. Crippa.

Thanks to the MADE technology developed by GR3N, this approach is now feasible and makes GR3N one of the few companies with the potential to provide a reliable enhanced recycling solution that closes the life cycle of PET, offers food grade polymer material, processes a large variety of waste (post-consumer and/or post-industrial polyesters will be both from bottles, i.e., colored, colorless, transparent, opaque, and textiles, 100% polyester but also with up to 30% of other materials like PU, cotton, polyether, polyurea, etc.) and reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

In principle, the obtained monomers can potentially be re-polymerized endlessly to provide brand new virgin PET or any other polymer using one of the monomers. Polymers obtained can be used to produce new bottles/trays and/or new garments, essentially completely displacing feedstock material from fossil fuels, as the recycled product has the same functionality as that derived traditionally. This means that gr3n can potentially achieve bottle-to-textile, textile-to-textile, or even textile-to-bottle recycling, moving from a linear to a circular system.

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