Ioniqa launching first PET plastic up-cycling plant
Eindhoven, The Netherlands – 13 September 2018
Ioniqa is scaling up its technology for infinite PET plastic upcycling: the technology company is building its first PET plastic up-cycling factory in the Netherlands at Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen. As of summer 2019, PET plastic waste will be converted into high-grade, pure PET raw material, of which new food packaging will be made.
Last April it was announced that Ioniqa had entered into a partnership with Unilever and PET packaging market leader Indorama. According to Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO of Ioniqa, the cooperation with both multinationals is very important: “Since 2011, we have been developing in our R&D labs in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) this circular technology to up-cycle all types of colored PET plastic wastes and textiles. Over the past two years we carried out many tests at our demonstration plant at Plant One in the Port of Rotterdam (the Netherlands) to prove our process for the production of raw material for food packaging. This was an important step and validates Ioniqa’s circular solution for all stakeholders in the market.”
Make the world a better place
With its circular process no oil is needed anymore to produce new PET materials. “PET waste is our raw material. With Ioniqa’s process PET products, made from PET waste, are identical to those made from oil, with the same quality, food safety and competitive prices. Ioniqa’s up-cycling process makes the world cleaner and a better place.”
Looking at the many images of the plastic soup in the oceans and landfills with millions of plastic bottles and boxes: “We all made a big mess of it. I am happy that through our circular process we can contribute in clearing this up and, crazy as it may sound, making the use of plastic sustainable. Other value chain players already labeled our process as a real game changer.
The Ioniqa plant in the Netherlands (Geleen) will be be ready in the first half of 2019 and the end-product will be delivered to the market in the same year. Output of the plant is 10,000 tons of PET raw materials. “Both the supply of the PET feedstock as well as the off-take of the materials is already guaranteed for this 10,000 ton plant”, according to Hooghoudt. The Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Geleen (the Netherlands), is the perfect site for the Ioniqa factory and being close to Germany, Belgium and France, facilitates sufficient plastic waste streams for Ioniqa’s process. Limburg is a great location to become a key plastic hub in Europe.”
Bert Kip, CEO of Brightlands Chemelot Campus says: “Recycling is a crucial element in the ambition of Brightlands Chemelot Campus to stimulate and accelerate innovations in sustainability in the chemical and materials world. Together with Chemelot Industrial Park, we are building on a recycling ecosystem. Various parties at both Chemelot Industrial Park and Brightlands Chemelot Campus are already active in this area. We are therefore extremely proud that Ioniqa chose Brightlands Chemelot Campus as the location for the pilot plant for PET polyester recycling. Ioniqa fits perfectly in our strategy. We welcome Ioniqa on Brightlands Chemelot Campus and I would to thank all the partners of the campus who made this possible.”
Regional Minister of Economic Affairs and Knowledge Infrastructure Joost van den Akker: “The Province of Limburg is delighted that Ioniqa is establishing itself at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. On this campus we work within the objectives of Chemelot 2025 on improving sustainability and reducing waste flows and CO2 emissions. Ioniqa’s technology will make a major contribution to this. Together with its fellow shareholders Maastricht University and DSM Nederland, the Province has also invested a great deal in recent years in creating an attractive business climate for innovative companies on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. The arrival of a company like Ioniqa shows that we can now harvest the results of these efforts.”
Hooghoudt envisions this first Ioniqa plant will be followed by many more. The 10,000 ton plant output is still a relatively small volume compared to market demand and scale up to 100,000 or 200,000 tons will certainly follow. “That is something for large internationally operating parties to take on,” says the CEO of Ioniqa. “We focus on licensing our technology globally. This will also ensure that the technology is implemented faster. Ioniqa will continue to focus on further technology development in the future in order to be able to recycle other types of plastics – and in the future also bio-plastics. ”
Diederik Samsom: ‘Ioniqa, a sparkling company’
Eindhoven, The Netherlands – 23 April 2018
“In the Netherlands, a few companies are doing well in the circular economy: one of them is sparkling Ioniqa.” With these words Diederik Samsom, former PvdA leader, complimented Ioniqa’s founder and CEO, Tonnis Hooghoudt, during the Waste and Recycling Conference 2018 in Utrecht.
Hooghoudt, later interviewed by chairman Freek van Eijk during the congress, talked about the start of Ioniqa (a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology) in the plastic field as of 2011. He explained Ioniqa’s plan to launch its first industrial plant by next year. This plant will supply 10 kilotons of pure PET raw material from which new PET products can be manufactured.
Unique circular process
Globally around 320 million tons of plastic are produced every year, approximately a quarter being PET products. Only 10% of those PET products are being recycled. “Ioniqa developed a method to boost this recycling percentage. With our unique recycling process, fed with PET-waste we are able to produce ‘virgin’ raw material. This circular process can be repeated indefinitely”, Hooghoudt explained in a very busy conference room.
“Crude oil is the basic raw material of all plastics. As our ‘raw material’ is PET waste, oil is no longer needed and can eliminate oil from the plastic production process. This is a big advantage for the environment, including the reduction of CO2 emissions. Ioniqa’s raw material for PET is the same quality as PET raw material produced from the oil route while a competitive price. Both aspects are equally important, you do need a solid business case.”
All colorants can be removed from PET waste, like bottles and food trays, in Ioniqa’s game-changing process. Something that is impossible to do with traditional mechanical recycling. “We can use all possible PET coloured waste streams, including textiles: old, discarded clothes can be converted into the raw material for PET, even for food packaging.”
Start-up Ioniqa now entered the upscaling phase. Its demonstration plant in the Botlek area in at Plant-One Rotterdam will have a big brother next year: a 10 kiloton production plant. “Next upscaling steps, up to 200 kilotons, is up to stakeholders such as PET producers, Brands and Waste recyclers. They are far better equipped to take this circular process to an industrial level. We will sell licenses of our technology and continue to develop new, innovative paths of recycling. But first Ioniqa’s goal is to realize the plans for the new 10 kt plant in 2019. ”
1 million Jumbo jets
Every year around 320 million tons of plastic are produced worldwide, which equals 1 million fully loaded Jumbo jets. “A quarter of plastics is PET and only 10 to 20% maximum is being recycled”, Hooghoudt says. “The rest (equaling a volume of 200,000 Jumbo jets) disappears in incinerators, landfill or in the ocean. We will need to take better care of our planet. The expected plastic production will grow to more than 1 billion tons per year over the next 30 years. We can only tackle this problem together: the industry, innovative companies, investors, governments and citizens combined.”
50th Demo plant run completed
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.”
4 April 2018 PRESS RELEASE – Unilever, Ioniqa and Indorama launching breakthrough food packaging technology
Unilever, Ioniqa and Indorama launching breakthrough food packaging technology
London/Rotterdam, 4 April 2018 – Unilever has announced a partnership with start-up company Ioniqa & the largest global producer of PET resin Indorama Ventures to pioneer a new technology which converts PET waste back into virgin grade material for use in food packaging.
Ioniqa has developed a proprietary technology that is able to convert any PET waste – including coloured packs – back into transparent virgin grade material. The technology has successfully passed its pilot stage and is now moving towards testing at an industrial scale.
PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) is widely used to produce plastic packaging, yet worldwide only around 20% of this material makes its way to recycling plants with the rest either incinerated, disposed of in landfills or leaking into the natural environment. Through its R&D Foods team, Unilever has partnered with Indorama Ventures & start-up company Ioniqa, a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, to tackle this challenge.
Ioniqa’s new technology takes non-recycled PET waste – like coloured bottles – and breaks it down to base molecule level, while separating the colour and other contaminants. The molecules are converted back into PET which is equal to virgin grade quality at Indorama’s facility.
If proven successful at industrial scale, in future it will be possible to convert all PET back into high quality, food-grade packaging. The three partnering companies believe that this fully circular solution could lead to an industry transformation, since the new technology can be repeated indefinitely.
In 2017, Unilever committed to all of its plastic packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Chief R＆D Officer David Blanchard said that Unilever is proud to support another sustainable packaging innovation.
David Blanchard said: “We want all of our packaging to be fit for a world that is circular by design, stepping away from the take-make-dispose model that we currently live in. This innovation is particularly exciting because it could unlock one of the major barriers today – making all forms of recycled PET suitable for food packaging. Indeed, making the PET stream fully circular would be a major milestone towards this ambition, not just helping Unilever, but transforming industry at large.”
Aloke Lohia, Group CEO of Indorama Ventures added: “We aspire to be a world-class chemical company making great products for society, and this partnership is fully aligned with our vision. Our approach is not limited to our own operations, but we take the entire supply chain into account, including what happens to our products after use. We therefore look forward to working closely with Unilever and Ioniqa to leverage this state-of-the-art technology that contributes to tackling the global issue of waste, and enables us to go beyond the role of a polymer manufacturer.
Tonnis Hooghoudt, Founder and CEO of Ioniqa summed up by stating: “To scale up our unique solution for PET plastics, we are delighted to work together with partners like Unilever and Indorama Ventures. Through our collaboration, Ioniqa’s innovative technology can turn PET waste into a truly circular material which holds value after disposal by consumers, helping to clean up the planet.”
See also the following link
CEO Ioniqa: “Oil no longer required to produce plastics”
The story of Ioniqa is dazzling: the young company developed a new circular technology in a laboratory at the Eindhoven University of Technology, six years later it’s first industrial plant is scheduled to be operational. The 10 kiloton plant will be upcycling kilotons of PET plastic waste into ‘virgin’ grade materials for the plastic industry. This success is not surprising, Ioniqa is nothing short of a true game changer.
Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO and Founder of the company: “Our process removes impurities, for instance colorants, from all types of PET plastic waste. Ioniqa’s end-product is a ‘virgin’ raw material in its purest form at price competitive level. Hence oil is no longer required to produce plastics.”
In the Port of Rotterdam (NL) right next to global giants such as AkzoNobel and ExxonMobil, a unique test environment is located, named Plant One Rotterdam. At this site innovators test their pioneering technology and process at pre-industrial scale. Here Ioniqa is demonstrating its game changing process with the support of stakeholders, contributing to a circular economy.
Recently Michiel de Groot joined Ioniqa in the position of COO.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands – 1 October 2017
We are happy to announce that Ioniqa has expanded the team with new COO Michiel de Groot. He will fulfill a major role in being responsible for the operation of the demonstration plant in Botlek-Rotterdam and the engineering and operation of the scale-up to a commercial installation.
Michiel has a broad background and experience in Chemical Engineering. He fulfilled senior positions in Engineering and Manufacturing and holds a Master degree in Chemical Engineering at Delft University (The Netherlands).
For more information regarding the upscaling process please contact: Michiel de Groot, COO / email@example.com
The circular PET polyester solution of Ioniqa won the Accenture Innovation Award 2016 in the category Circular Economy on 28 oktober 2016 in Utrecht.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands – 28 October 2016
Quote of the jury: “One of the biggest challenges in the world is how we treat plastic waste. Ioniqa has invented this brilliant, innovative technology and the solution to recycle all PET plastics. As a jury we also selected this winner because we feel that this award can boost the commercialization and boost the global exposure of this technology to make the world a better place!”
Ioniqa invented a Magnetic Smart Process to recycle all kinds of coloured PET polyester waste into ‘virgin quality’ raw materials, competing with oil-base PET in both quality and costs. With this game changing technology Ioniqa found a profitable solution for almost a quarter of all plastic waste in the world. A technology that is capable of transforming the PET polyester industry into a circular, sustainable business generating many new jobs.
The Accenture Innovation Awards is a year-round program which generates attention for the most innovative Dutch products, services and concepts. The award-program gives companies and organizations the recognition they deserve. It’s all about innovative concepts launched in the Netherlands that are younger than three years and deliver exceptional performance in terms of innovation and sustainability.
Each year more than 50 million tons of oil-based PET-plastics (bottles, packaging, filling, apparel, car
pets, etc) end up in incinerators, landfill and oceans. Only 10 percent of post-consumer PET-waste is collected and eventually mechanically down-cycled. The Ioniqa-technoloy of Magnetic Smart Recycling enables a high-grade up-cycling of all kin
ds and colours of PET-waste at highly competitive pricing. With this innovation Ioniqa paves the way to replace oil-based PET for cradle-to-cradle PET
production, transforming worthless PET-waste into a valuable secondary resource.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 384,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. www.accenture.com.
About Ioniqa Technologies
Ioniqa Technologies is a cleantech start-up from the Eindhoven region (The Netherlands) founded in 2009 and specializes in the development of Magnetic Smart Processes, which includes Magnetic Smart Materials and
Separation Processes. It is a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Dutch Polymer Institute (Eindhoven, The Netherlands).
More information: +31 40 751 7630 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ioniqa has become one of the five finalists of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2016
- The other four finalists originate from the Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom and Israel
- Her Majesty Queen Máxima will attend the final on 14 September 2016 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Eindhoven (The Netherlands), 15 August 2016
Out of 292 sustainable innovations from 61 countries, Ioniqa Technologies has become one of the five finalists of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2016. The Dutch start-up Ioniqa invented a profitable cradle-to-cradle solution for the millions of tons of PET Polyester waste in the world, currently landfilled, incinerated or dumped in nature. The winner of the 10th edition of the world’s largest annual competition of sustainable business plans will be announced on September 14th, 2016.
During the finals Ioniqa will compete against PHYSEE from Delft (NL) and three finalists from abroad: Home Biogas from Israel, Green City Solutions from Germany and Steama.co from the UK. The winner receives € 500,000 and the runner-up gets € 200,000 to realize their sustainable ambitions. A remarkable opportunity for Ioniqa to pitch its profitable circular PET-solution addressing the worldwide plastic waste problem.
Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO of Ioniqa Technologies: “I consider it a great honor that our circular solution for PET plastics reached the final five out of 292 entries. Our presence in the finals is a tremendous recognition of the impact of our innovation and the health of our business model. And of course we really hope to win this competition on September 14!”
An overview of all finalists is available here.
Ioniqa has invented a process to upcycle mixed PET Polyester waste – plastic bottles, packaging, apparel, carpets – into high-quality raw materials, able to compete in both quality and costs with original oil-based feedstock. It was already possible to recycle colourless PET waste, but most of the 54 million tons of annual PET-production is coloured PET. Of these products, 90 % is landfilled, burned or dumped in nature. The Ioniqa solution upgrades all PET waste – nearly a quarter of all plastic waste in the world – into a valuable secondary resource for new PET products.
Ioniqa wins CSR Netherlands Award ‘Ambition 2020 Challenge’
The circular PET polyester solution of Ioniqa won the Ambition 2020 Challenge Award of CSR Netherlands on 28 June 2016 in Rotterdam.
In terms of impact on the triple bottom line – People, Planet, Profit – Ioniqa presented the best innovation, according to the jury: ‘Ioniqa has achieved a solution for the inclusive and circular economy, in an inspiring way, with impact and a clear business case’.
Ioniqa invented a Magnetic Smart Process to recycle all kinds of coloured PET polyester waste into ‘virgin quality’ raw materials. An economic viable technology that is capable of transforming the PET polyester industry into a circular, sustainable business generating many new jobs.
CSR Netherlands (MVO Nederland) launched the Ambition 2020 Challenge to encourage entrepreneurs to come forward with business concepts contributing to a climate neutral world without waste, where each individual talent counts. Of all the Dutch sustainable innovations Ioniqa came out as the winner. Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO of Ioniqa, received the Award during the farewell reception of Willem Lageweg, who retired after 10 years as director of CSR Netherlands.
Each year more than 50 million tons of oil-based PET-plastics (bottles, packaging, filling, apparel, carpets, etc) end up in incinerators, landfill and oceans. Only 10 percent of post-consumer PET-waste is collected and eventually mechanically down-cycled. The Ioniqa-technology of Magnetic Smart Recycling enables a high-grade up-cycling of all kinds and colours of PET-waste at highly competitive pricing. With this innovation Ioniqa can start to inspire the world to replace oil-based PET for cradle-to-cradle PET production, transforming the millions of tons of worthless PET-waste into a valuable secundary resource.
About Ioniqa Technologies
Ioniqa Technologies is a high-tech chemical company from the Eindhoven region (The Netherlands) founded in 2009 and specializes in the development of Magnetic Smart Processes, which includes Magnetic Smart Materials and Separation Processes. It is a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology and the Dutch Polymer Institute (Eindhoven, The Netherlands).
More information: +31 40 751 7630 / email@example.com