French company Carbios has successfully completed the first test on its industrial demonstration plant that uses enzymatic plastic recycling.
The enzymatic plastic recycling technology, called C-ZYME, has been used at the plant in Clermont-Ferrand.
It breaks down PET into monomers that are purified before being repolymerised into PET of comparable quality to virgin material.
Carbios chief executive Jean-Claude Lumaret said: “For more than 10 years, we have been creating innovative solutions to rethink the end of life of plastics and textiles.
“This industrial demonstration plant fulfils the promises of our enzymatic recycling process, C-ZYME. The continuous cycle of recycling PET waste is one step closer to becoming a reality.
“The demonstration plant include a 20m3 depolymerisation reactor capable of processing two tonnes of PET per cycle, which is the equivalent of 100,000 bottles. This is a watershed moment, highlighting how this revolutionary process works on a large scale.”
By the end of 2022, trials run at this industrial demonstration plant will enable the complete engineering documents to be drawn up for the building and operation of a 40,000 tonnes per year facility. The designs will also be used for reference for future factories under licensing agreements.