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Plans to scale up enzymatic biorecycling could lead to “a true revolution in the world of PET.”

Posted on Jul 5, 2017 7:21:00 PM

Carbios and TechnipFMC sign a contract on PET enzymatic biorecycling. (Photo courtesy of Carbios).A new collaboration in the industry has been made which will produce virgin PET from plastic waste. The companies behind the innovation are Carbios, a green chemistry company specialising in enzymatic bioprocesses, and TechnipFMC, renowned for oil and gas projects. This contract will support Carbios with the scale up of its process to ensure industrial competitiveness during this development. The French based company have already developed two industrial bioprocesses able to biodegrade and recycle polymers. These have been recognised as breakthroughs in the industry in their ability to leverage the highly specific properties of enzymes to optimise the performances and the life cycle of plastic and textile materials.

"It’s a premiere in the world of green chemistry to which we can bring our expertise and know-how in the fields of process industrialisation, engineering and project management."

Carbios’ proprietary innovation provides an industrial solution to fulfil sustainable development requirements of PET production processes. The global market of PET records a 4-5 percent annual growth and represents a world production of 64 million tons each year, split between one third of plastics and two thirds of fibres. In ten years’ time, the annual production of this market is expected to reach 100 million tons expected to equate to $110 billion.

This process has been developed for the recycling of PET plastics, namely bottles, films and packaging. It enables to overcome constraints and limits of current recycling processes by the treatment of all kind of plastics containing PET (transparent, coloured, opaque and complex), and by the recovery of high-performance virgin PET directly from plastic waste. For the first time, a biological process paves the way to infinite recycling of PET following circular economy principles.

TechnipFMC signed this contract to transpose Carbios’ process from the laboratory to the pilot scale. This assistance will further aim at supporting the development of the project and define the bases of the industrial process. Through this contract, Carbios will benefit from TechnipFMC industrial know-how in bioprocess engineering and from the expertise of its German affiliate Technip Zimmer, in PET polymerization technologies.

Alain François, General Manager of TechnipFMC ( @TechnipFMC ) Operating Center in Lyon, notably in charge of the projects for chemical and bio-sourced industries, commented: “We are delighted to work with Carbios on this enzymatic recycling process that represents a true revolution in the world of PET. We have gained a solid experience in process engineering and we are very enthusiastic at the idea to assist Carbios in shaping the industrialisation of this innovation. It’s a premiere in the world of green chemistry to which we can bring our expertise and know-how in the fields of process industrialisation, engineering and project management.”

Jean-Claude Lumaret, General Manager of Carbios added: “We are glad to initiate with TechnipFMC this stage of industrial engineering for our technology. This agreement is another step in the transition of our PET biorecycling process from the status of disruptive innovation to a leading industrial technology.”


For more stories related to PET recycling:

The very hungry bacteria; how plastic is on the menu for one microbe.

Danone and Nestlé Waters lead new initiative that could "bring bio-based bottles to the world as soon as possible."

IKEA to make sustainability "an option for everyone" with kitchens made from recycled plastic bottles.

Demand for bio-based plastic continues to rise despite falling oil costs.

Why the internet sensation FORMcard is a bioplastic solution helping to fix your world.

Topics: BBWNChemicals, ProcessRefining&Plants

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About the Author

Emily O'Dowd
Emily O'Dowd
On graduating with a degree in English Literature at Royal Holloway University of London, Emily joined the editorial team. When she isn't writing articles for the website or interviewing experts in th...read more