Carbios breaks ground on demonstration plant

The demonstration plant will generate data to allow the company to scale up production. (Carbios image)

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France – Carbios has broken ground on its industrial demonstration plant for the enzymatic recycling of PET plastic.

The demonstration plant is located near Lyon, in France’s “Chemistry Valley”, the country’s hub of innovation and industrial production in the chemical, environmental and cleantech sector. Carbios is supported and advised by TechnipFMC for the engineering and construction of this demonstration plant.

The objective of the plant is to generate technical data that will allow Carbios to define the main parameters for each step of the enzymatic recycling process, on a scale that will allow the planning of future industrial units.

“Our technology is able to meet a very strong market demand, particularly from the brand-owners of our Consortium, which include companies like L’Oréal, Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo, and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe,” said Martin Stephan, chief operating officer of Carbios.

“Each of these, and many other global multi-national firms, have made ambitious commitments towards sustainable development. This demonstration plant will be a showcase to validate the economic and technical performance of our process and to ensure the training of our future licensees.”

The first phase of the system operations is scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2021. This will allow Carbios to establish the complete engineering documents for the process, from waste to monomers, for the construction and implementation of the first industrial unit for a licensee (estimated capacity between 50 and 100 kilotonnes per year).

The demonstration plant will validate the technical, environmental, and economic performance of Carbios’s technology. It will also produce batches of monomers for technical and regulatory validation of recycled PET by future licensees.

“The demonstration unit allows us to test different waste streams, and to adapt certain steps of our process to the specification of collection systems. I am very excited to see our revolutionary technology industrializing and becoming a commercial reality in the near future,”said Antoine Sévenier, Carbios’s industrial development director.

Since its creation in 2011 by Truffle Capital, Carbios has developed, through biotechnology, two industrial processes that revolutionize the biodegradation and recycling of polymers.