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Renewlogy Converting Landfill-Bound Plastics to Fuel.

Renewlogy (formerly PK Clean) converts plastic waste into fuel products. The system can produce fuels such as diesel, as well as materials that serve as the building blocks to make new plastics. CEO Priyanka Bakaya founded the company at MIT in 2011. Renewlogy has made the process more economically viable than others in the plastics-to-oil market, Bakaya says. One way is through its continuous, automated approach versus a batch process. Batch requires cooldown and reheating steps, while the continuous process maintains a consistent temperature. The automated approach also can reduce labor costs.

The company's demonstration facility in Salt Lake City is the first chemical recycling plant in the U.S. designed to operate continuously at commercial scale. Renewlogy reportedly can accept mixed and dirty plastic feedstock and produces low-sulfur fuel with zero toxic emissions. The company plans to build Renewlogy systems at recycling operations across the country. A new facility is under construction in Nova Scotia. And Renewlogy was recently awarded a grant from the Arizona Commerce Authority toward setting up a facility in Phoenix. The company plans to invest the grant in starting operations at a Phoenix facility that already processes waste. Because Renewlogy's facilities are modular and have a small footprint, they can be co-located at plastic waste sites.

"We're working on a number of facilities that will be deployed over the next couple of years," Bakaya says. Renewlogy is also getting involved in helping with the ocean plastics crisis. Its solution is a small, mobile version of its large chemical recycling system that is powered by solar energy. It would target oceanbound plastics in developing countries and create incentives for local waste pickers to collect scrap plastics that otherwise have low value. Renewlogy has partnered with the nonprofit Plastic Ocean Project, which has been using Renewlogy's conversion unit for converting marine plastic waste into fuel over the past few years.

"Once plastics are collected from the ocean, they are very difficult to recycle," Bakaya says. "We developed our technology to find a solution for hard-to-recycle plastics, and it's incredible to be able to convert these microplastics from the ocean into a clean fuel." The firm is rolling out its Renewlogy Oceans initiative in major rivers across the world, starting with the Ganges River in India next year.

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Title Annotation:TECHNOLOGY AND INDUSTRY NEWS: Starting Up
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Nov 1, 2018
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