Technology

Converting end-of-life plastic waste into a
sustainable oil blendstock


Our process achieves in just 20 minutes what takes nature 200 million years, turning plastic waste into readily usable recycled oils and chemicals.

The Cat-HTR technology was originally developed by Australian company, Licella Pty Ltd (Licella), in partnership with the University of Sydney. Initially used to process non-food biomass to produce biocrude oil, the technology was found to be suitable for processing a range of feedstocks (which can include plastics, used lube oil, lignite and biomass).

Unlike traditional technologies, which require feedstock to be dried prior to processing, the Cat-HTR utilises water at, or near, supercritical temperatures and pressures as a cost-effective catalyst. The water breaks down the polymeric structure of the plastic feedstock and hydrogen is harvested from the water for use in the creation of new hydrocarbon molecules.

 

Advantages of our process compared to other technologies processing biomass:

  • Lower carbon footprint due to a relatively low reaction temperatures (~ 400 degrees C) when compared to other upgrading technologies such as pyrolysis (~ 500 degrees C) and gasification (~ 700 degrees C)
  • No need for a dry feedstock
  • Does not rely on external enzymes, uses water as a cost-effective catalyst
  • No external hydrogen required (reduces cost of production)
  • Technology operates efficiently at small scales
  • Cat-HTR modular design allows a plant to scale-up with minimal risk
  • Ability to tailor production towards either oils or chemicals, providing a high degree of operational flexibility
  • Less susceptible to corrosion and coking, due to the presence of water under supercritical conditions
  • Higher yields: 2 tonnes of product for 3 tonnes of plastic almost 70% yield
  • Not tied to one market – can produce a range of oils, chemicals and waxes
  • Not tied to one feedstock- The technology could also be used for process alternative feedstocks, such as lignite, used lube oil and non-edible biomass
  • Products are low in sulphur;
  • Ability to mix biomass feedstocks

 

Our Process

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