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igus® invests in the chemical recycling of Mura Technology Limited

HydroPRS technology regains resources from plastic waste in 20 minutes

Every year, eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the world's oceans. These lost resources are worth around 80 billion US dollars. The problem: up to now, most plastic has been incinerated and only 14% recycled. Around the world, mixed waste is always left over. In the case of non-technical plastics, it is 100 to 1,000 times the amount. Here, the chemical recycling of Mura Technology Limited offers new solutions.
The Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Solution (HydroPRS) was developed in 2007, and tested in a pilot plant in Australia for over ten years. With HydroPRS, plastic waste that was previously impossible to recycle can be converted back into oil within 20 minutes; this is more resource-efficient than the extraction of fossil fuels from the ground. Only water, high temperatures and pressure are used to separate the cells and join them together again. One plant alone can process 20,000 tonnes of plastic per year and reduce CO2 output by 28,180 tonnes. This corresponds to the annual consumption of 5,983 cars or the annual energy needs of 4,914 households.

Traditional plastic recycling vs. recycling with HydroPRS

Diagram traditional plastic recycling

For traditional plastic recycling - also used by igus in its chainge programme - all waste has to be sorted according to its constituents before shredding. The granules can then be used to produce new polymer products with the injection moulding method or by extrusion.

Diagram Cat-HTR technology

The HydroPRS technology converts the unsorted waste into oil within 20 minutes in a way that saves resources. The crude oil can later be used as lubrication grease, wax or for producing new, high-quality plastic granules.

igus supports the circular economy of plastics

In the future, chemical recycling will show its advantages where conventional recycling cannot progress any further. In order to support Mura in the start-up phase and to help the technology achieve a worldwide breakthrough, igus invested four million British pounds (4.7 million euros) in January 2020 and increased the investment to a total of 5 million euros in March 2021. Thanks to this support and the establishment and expansion of further partnerships, Mura was able to start constructing the first commercial HydroPRS plant. It is being set up at the Wilton International site in Teesside in the north-east of England and is scheduled to go into operation in the first half of 2023.

The process is planned as follows: waste companies supply the plastic waste to achieve their recycling goals. Oil is then obtained that is available at a similar price to fossil oil. In the first phase, a total of four catalytic hydrothermal reactors will be built in Teesside to process more than 80,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year. In addition, further plants are planned in Germany, the US and Asia, among other places.

Model of the new HydroPRS plant at the industrial site Wilton International Currently, the world's first HydroPRS plant is being developed at the British industrial site Wilton International.

In April 2021, Dow Chemical, the world's second-largest chemical company, became another partner. The collaboration will further advance the scaling of Mura's advanced recycling process: Dow will use the newly extracted raw materials to develop new plastics for food packaging and other packaging products that will eventually be recycled back into global supply chains.

August 2022 - construction progress of the first plant

In April 2021, Mura Technology Ltd. began building the first large-scale plant for recycling unsorted plastic waste in England. As in other sectors of the economy, the corona pandemic and shortage of raw materials affected the project. Construction work is progressing rapidly, and a series of equipment and machinery has been delivered to local warehouses. The first installation on site took place on 15th July 2022. The goal is still to put the plant into operation at the beginning of 2023.

Video of the large construction site in England

The terms "igus", "Apiro", "chainflex", "CFRIP", "conprotect", "CTD", "drylin", "dry-tech", "dryspin", "easy chain", "e-chain", "e-chain systems", "e-ketten", "e-kettensysteme", "e-skin", "e-spool", "flizz", "ibow", "igear", "iglidur", "igubal", "kineKIT", "manus", "motion plastics", "pikchain", "plastics for longer life", "readychain", "readycable", "ReBeL", "speedigus", "triflex", "robolink", "xirodur", and "xiros" are legally protected trademarks of the igus® GmbH/ Cologne in the Federal Republic of Germany and where applicable in some foreign countries.

igus® GmbH points out that it does not sell any products of the companies Allen Bradley, B&R, Baumüller, Beckhoff, Lahr, Control Techniques, Danaher Motion, ELAU, FAGOR, FANUC, Festo, Heidenhain, Jetter, Lenze, LinMot, LTi DRiVES, Mitsibushi, NUM,Parker, Bosch Rexroth, SEW, Siemens, Stöber and all other drive manufacturers mention in this website. The products offered by igus® are those of igus® GmbH