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Mura Partners with Ghent University’s Laboratory for Chemical Technology to Explore Advanced Recycling Capabilities

17 April 2024

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Mura Technology has today signed a 5-year research partnership with the Laboratory for Chemical Technology (LCT) at Ghent University, a world-leading academic institution dedicated to minimising the environmental impact of chemical processes.

The research partnership will involve the construction of a continuous flow, pilot scale testing facility, which will be used for a range of research programmes to evaluate hard to recycle polymers, including complex composite materials. The results will help to drive future technology expansions and help Mura’s chemical partners understand the potential of products from circular feedstocks. 

The research collaboration between Mura Technology and the LCT demonstrates the strong commitment of both organisations to grow the world’s capability to process a broader scope of waste plastics into valuable feedstocks for the chemicals sector and wider plastics value chain. 

Mura Technology’s process, Hydro-PRT, is the next generation of advanced plastic recycling due to its use of supercritical water (water under elevated pressure and temperature), which distinguishes it from alternative recycling processes, such as pyrolysis. The use of supercritical water ensures efficient and scalable conversion of plastic waste to hydrocarbons, enables the recycling of a wide range plastics, such as post-consumer packaging, and results in high yields of recycled hydrocarbons for use in the manufacture of virgin-quality, recycled plastics. Through this process, there is no limit to the number of times the same material can be recycled – meaning Hydro-PRT has the potential to significantly reduce the need for fossil resource in plastic production and permanently increase material circularity in the plastics industry.  

By providing a route to recycle these hard to recycle materials, Mura has created a complementary process to operate alongside traditional mechanical recycling, as highlighted in the 2023 technical report by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC)[i]. This report also benchmarked Mura’s Hydro-PRT as the best in class, with a c50% lower carbon footprint, compared to two pyrolysis technologies, helping end customers to meet their Net Zero targets.   

Dr Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology, said:

Our new, long-term partnership with Ghent University will help us understand fully the exciting capabilities of our Hydro-PRT process, enabling us to provide research opportunities and create partnerships with the wider value chain.  The knowledge and expertise of the Laboratory for Chemical Technology in advanced recycling and petrochemical sectors makes them natural partners to help develop the potential of our technology and really showcase the benefits of advanced recycling.   

Professor Kevin Van Geem, LCT professor and CTO of CAPTURE said

Mura’s Hydro-PRT technology not only offers a sustainable alternative for plastic waste management but also contributes to the transition towards a circular economy by reducing emissions, conserving resources and maximizing efficiency and effectiveness. Moreover, Mura’s transparent approach to operations and commitment to accountability convinced me to go for this long-term collaboration.

Dr Geoff Brighty, Head of Sustainability at Mura Technology, said:

Mura is committed to the high-quality science that Professor Van Geem’s team is renowned for publishing. We look forward to future joint publications which we believe will be critical to underpinning future policy and practice in this area and provide confidence in the achievement of regulatory targets for waste recycling and net zero.

 

[i] Environmental and Economic Assessment of Plastic Waste Recycling, Garcia-Gutierrez, P., Amadei, A.M., Klenert, D., Nessi, S., Tonini, D., Tosches, D., Ardente, F., Saveyn, H. European Commission, Joint Research Centre JRC Publications Repository – Environmental and economic assessment of plastic waste recycling (europa.eu) 

Ghent University is a founding member of the CAPTURE initiative, which aims to deliver a disruptive contribution to the circular economy by accelerating radical technological innovations in the field of sustainable resource recovery

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