Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Swindon firm receives £1.2m government backing to boost plastic recycling

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Recycling Technologies' RT7000 machine

 

The UK's innovation agency has awarded £1.2 million to a consortium led by Swindon-based Recycling Technologies to support a research project to enhance and improve the efficiency of recycling technology in the UK.

The grant – which will be shared between Recycling Technologies, University of Birmingham, University of Surrey and Cranfield University – was won under Innovate UK’s Smart ‘open grant funding programme’, which looks to support commercially viable and innovative business ideas.

Recycling Technologies has spearheaded the development of a chemical solution which turns 'unrecyclable' light plastics into new plastic.

The research project aims to further develop and enhance the RT7000, a machine manufactured by Recycling Technologies which converts waste plastics into Plaxx – a recycled feedstock which can be used to manufacture new plastic.

The parties will work together on developing an online monitoring system which will predict and control Plaxx quality based on input composition and process conditions.

This collaboration will result in reduced running costs and improved efficiency for the RT7000 and in turn will speed up the development of commercial chemical recycling benefitting the environment by reducing the need to incinerate, bury or export residual plastic waste.

Birmingham, Surrey, and Cranfield are leading academic and engineering institutions who have been individually working with Recycling Technologies on its cutting-edge technology. This project will bring together their expertise and skills to accelerate a solution which will help solve one of the biggest global problems and ensure a more sustainable future for the planet.

Marvine Besong, technical director at Recycling Technologies said: “Recycling Technologies is delighted to have received this grant from Innovate UK’s far-sighted Smart programme to invest in the best game-changing and commercially viable and innovative disruptive ideas.

"Our collaboration with these leading UK universities with a long track record of successful engineering research and development will fast-track our mission to accelerate the evolution of waste plastic into a more sustainable material.”

Gary Leeke, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Birmingham said: “Birmingham has been working in the chemical recycling of plastics for the past nine years. A team of academics and researchers are excited to support the development of Recycling Technologies Ltd commercial chemical recycling plant.

"The team involves academics from Chemical Engineering and Metallurgy and Materials who are working with the wider project team to control the quality of the Plaxx product and improve plant efficiency. Technology development of this kind is key supporting the transition from a linear to a circular economy for plastic waste.”

Professor Rex Thorpe of the department of chemical and process engineering at the University of Surrey said: “I have been pleased to support this company in its goal to create a process that turns plastic waste into a valuable feedstock for the future chemical industry; this grant enables me to spend more time and resources on that support.”

Joy Sumner, senior lecturer in Energy Materials at Cranfield University said: “This is a fantastic chance to bring Cranfield’s materials degradation know-how to practical application, helping Recycling Technologies as they design and construct plant for recycling plastics into usable products.”

Pictured: Recycling Technologies' RT7000 machine