Pyrowave, a pioneer in catalytic microwave depolymerization of plastics, has received a $50,000 grant from the Foam Recycling Coalition to purchase equipment to allow for in-house processing of recycled polystyrene.
The Montreal, Quebec, company commercializes microwave-based equipment modules to perform fast depolymerization of mixed plastics and is focusing initially on post-consumer polystyrene. According to Pyrowave, the machines can depolymerize (or break down) post-consumer polystyrene materials into a styrene oil with up to 95 percent yield, which is then shipped to styrene buyers.
"Our initial polystyrene supply is mostly densified because not many jurisdictions know it can be recycled, so we have to source material from far locations until the movement is engaged," said Jocelyn Doucet, CEO of Pyrowave. "With the support of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, we will have the ability to shred the densified material from our partners and reduce our costs of operation at our demonstration facility. Our goal is that once we demonstrate recyclability of polystyrene, we can see more collection programs implemented, which will increase demand for our equipment by local recyclers."
"Companies like Pyrowave are advancing technologies to create innovative outlets for recycled polystyrene," said Lynn Dyer, president of FPI, which houses the coalition. "The beauty of the system that we're funding is the ability to design a closed loop, taking recycled foam foodservice packaging and turning it back into a building block for future use in foodservice packaging."
Pyrowave can process approximately one to three tons per day of post-consumer polystyrene material, which includes foodservice packaging items like cups and take-out containers. The company's current capacity is estimated at 800 tons per year, providing another end market for recycled polystyrene. While currently only operating in Montreal, Pyrowave plans to install additional systems in other parts of North America.
The grant was made possible through contributions to FPI's Foam Recycling Coalition, which focuses exclusively on increased recycling of post-consumer foam polystyrene. The coalition launched the grant program in 2015 to help fund infrastructure to collect and process these products. Its members include Americas Styrenics; Cascades Canada ULC; CKF Inc.; Chick-fil-A; Commodore; Dart Container Corp.; Dyne-A-Pak; Genpak; Hawaii's Finest Products; INEOS Styrolution; NOVA Chemicals Corp.; Pactiv Foodservice/Food Packaging; and TOTAL Petrochemicals & Refining USA.
Pyrowave is the eighth grant recipient. Nearly 1 million additional residents in the U.S. and Canada can recycle foam as a result of the funding.
More grant announcements will be made in early 2018. Visit www.recyclefoam.org to learn about previous recipients or to apply for a grant