Horgen, Switzerland – Dow is investing in Plastogaz, a start-up with hydrocracking technology to help close the loop on polymer recycling.
Dow said Plastogaz has 'unique' technology that is more efficient and less energy intensive than other current forms of advanced recycling.
The advanced recycling process turns the waste plastic back into monomers, or precursors such as ethylene, propylene, benzene and toluene, in a cracker. New polymers or other chemicals can be produced from plastics waste with this process.
A number of highly controlled process steps are needed to convert waste plastic into a form that can be added to the crackers. The advantage of the greater process complexity is that it can cope with more difficult recycling problems, such as multi-layer packaging that is hard to recycle using traditional mechanical processes.
Dow hopes that Plastogaz technology will convert more of the carbon entrained in waste plastic and use less energy than other processes. It says it plans to speed the process to market.
Keith Cleason, business vice-president for olefins, aromatics and alternatives, said: 'This is an important strategic step for Dow.’
Felix Bobbink, the founder of Plastogaz, said: 'We want to change the way the world thinks about plastics, not as something to throw away, but as a product that can be used over and over again, without damaging our natural environment.’