France-based Michelin Group has entered into a joint development agreement with Quebec-based Pyrowave to accelerate a plastic scrap recycling technology.
Pyrowave launched in 2014 to focus on recycling plastic scrap using a catalytic microwave depolymerization technology. The technology aims to generate recycled styrene from plastics found in packaging, insulation panels and household appliances. Pyrowave says its technology enables recycling of plastic scrap by using electricity.
Michelin’s joint development agreement with Pyrowave will result in the implementation of new value chains in the circular economy with goals of redesigning new packaging or manufacturing new products from recycled plastics in the automotive, electronics and tire sectors.
According to a news release from Michelin on the agreement, the two companies will work together in the coming months to fast-track the industrialization of Pyrowave technology with a view to certification and commercial rollout in international markets. The joint development agreement, which will account for an investment of more than 20 million euros (or about $24 million), will combine Pyrowave’s expertise with Michelin’s know-how.
Michelin says its technical teams will work with Pyrowave’s counterparts to develop an industrial demonstrator, funded and operated by Michelin, by 2023.
After a year of evaluation, Michelin says it was able to see the process in operation and test samples of recycled styrene in the composition of its tires. The company says the polymer regeneration process is in line with its strategic vision and product sustainability objectives.
“This partnership is an ultimate illustration of the group’s sustainable strategy,” says Sonia Artinian-Fredou, executive vice president, services and solutions, High Tech Materials at the Michelin Group. “The purpose is to manufacture tires made of increasingly sustainable materials and to make these technologies available to innovative recycling channels. We believe in the potential of Pyrowave technology and share their vision for a more sustainable future through innovation.”
Jocelyn Doucet, co-founder and chief executive officer of Pyrowave, adds, “Our partnership marks the beginning of the industrialization phase, drawing on the expertise and technical soundness of the Michelin Group. This strategic partnership reflects the attractiveness and potential of chemical process electrification, both environmentally and commercially, for world-scale players in the chain value. Through this partnership with Michelin, we will be in a position to develop a breakthrough technology with a view to transforming future materials in a sustainable way.”
Recycling Today talked to Doucet earlier this year about how he developed his technology and started Pyrowave for the Fresh Perspective podcast. The recording can be found here.