Rotterdam, the Netherlands – 16 April 2018
At Ioniqa’s demonstration plant for its circular PET process, located at Plant One in Port of Rotterdam, the 50th test run was completed. “A great milestone in the development from start-up to scale-up”, according to Tonnis Hooghoudt, Ioniqa’s CEO.
In this demo plant, tests are being run to make new PET raw material from various PET waste. The ‘feedstock’ for this factory (1,000 liters) are PET bottles and trays as well as textiles.
If all goes according to plan a fully operational factory will be ready in summer 2019, able to produce 10,000,000 liters (10 kilotons) of new PET raw material – virgin material – from which new PET products can be made.
Globally around 320 million tons of plastic are produced every year, approximately a quarter being PET products. So far, only 10-20% of those PET products are being recycled. “With our unique and circular process we can really boost this percentage.”
In addition, crude oil is the basis of all plastic production. “As our ‘raw material’ is PET waste, oil is no longer needed, which means we can eliminate oil from the production process. This is a big advantage for the environment, for example reducing CO2 emissions”, says Hooghoudt, who emphasizes that Ioniqa’s raw material for PET is of the same quality as PET raw material produced from existing oil and chemical processes. “And at a competitive price level.”
In Ioniqa’s game changing process, all colorants can be taken from used PET bottles and trays. Something that is impossible with existing recycling technologies. “We are targeting to use all possible coloured PET waste streams, including textiles. Bottom line is that with our process we will be able to convert even discarded polyester clothes into raw material for food packaging.”