Innovation That Matters

The ATOD platform accepts plastics generally consigned to landfill | Photo source Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Process converts unrecyclable plastics into new materials


A company has developed what may be one of the world’s most advanced plastic recycling processes

Spotted: California-based Biocellection may have developed one of the world’s most advanced plastic recycling processes. Waste plastics that are almost universally considered unrecyclable are broken down by the company’s Accelerated Thermal Oxidative Decomposition (ATOD) platform. The chemical components of the plastic are then reused to create new compounds essential to the production of other materials and manufacturing processes. The broken-down plastics can even be used to create new biodegradable materials.

Built around finding a way to recycle polyethylene film waste, the ATOD platform accepts plastics generally consigned to landfill, including those containing adhesives, labels, inks and dyes. Biocellection works directly with material recovery facilities to identify the best ways to divert post-consumer plastic waste into the new chemical upcycling system.

Once the plastics are broken down into dicarboxylic acid molecules, Biocellection uses them to create new materials. The company’s first sustainable collection is a polyester-based thermoplastic polyurethane made from 50 per cent post-consumer waste, and is an essential building block in commercial products that include electronics, footwear, fashion and 3D-manufacturing. The company is currently seeking partnerships for industrial trials of the platform, as well as customised requirements for the polyurethane.

Working together is the best way to solve long-standing problems. As Simon Bernard, co-founder of Plastic Odyssey says, “The change that I want to see is to show that we can share innovative knowledge that anyone can benefit from – when done collaboratively – which then serves those who have contributed to it.”

Written by: Keely Khoury

Explore more: Science Innovations | Retail Innovations



Download PDF