Mura Technology completes the construction of the first installation of HydroPRS – a system for the recovery of crude oil from plastic

British company Mura Technology (Mura) is recovering petroleum from plastic through the HydroPRS process to accelerate the circular economy of plastics. This is an issue that the motion plastics specialist igus is also interested in. igus has been supporting the Mura project as an investor since 2020. The first HydroPRS system for the chemical recycling of plastic waste is currently being built by Mura’s subsidiary ReNew ELP in Teesside, England. The advanced recycling pioneer is making great strides and will start operating the plant in early 2023.

The construction of the first HydroPRS plastic waste recycling facility started in April 2021. The process enables the recycling of unsorted plastic waste with a low carbon footprint. HydroPRS is resistant to organic contaminants such as paper and food debris, making a wide range of waste suitable as raw material. They are pressed in our own material processing facility and cleaned of contaminants such as glass, stones and metals.

ReNew ELP continues to make good progress on the construction of the plant, although the pandemic and raw material shortages, as in other sectors of the economy, affected the project. In recent months, after excavations and engineering and construction works, concrete was poured for the construction of foundations and substructures of buildings and facilities. The first installations, such as distillate tanks, were delivered to the construction site in July. In addition, some of them are transported to local warehouses or stored at suppliers on site. This helps with assembly planning as the equipment is available at any time and can be installed efficiently. Other major construction projects include a material processing plant and a main processing plant. In July, Mura began programming the control software for the HydroPRS installation, which should be completed by October.

The goal is to launch ReNew ELP in early 2023. During the first phase, the plant will have a capacity of 20,000. tons, which will be increased to 80 thousand. tons per year. In comparison, according to scientists’ estimates, the largest garbage vortex in the world, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which floats in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California, currently consists of around 80,000 tons of plastic waste. More HydroPRSTM plants are to be built around the world in the future, including in Germany. Several possible locations have been identified and one is already in development and expected to become operational in 2025 or sooner. The proposed plants in Germany will have a capacity of 50,000 to 100,000 tonnes per site.

Mura’s business model includes its own locations in the UK, Europe and the US, as well as worldwide licensing opportunities through Mura’s partner KBR. Other partners have been added such as DOW Chemical, Chevron Phillips Chemical and Mitsubishi Chemical. igus has been a partner of Mura since 2020 and has invested €5 million in the project.

Mura is already working with suppliers to supply the HydroPRS facility with plastic waste. They collect household and city waste, and will deliver it to Mura in the future. But Mura goes a step further and actively drives the development of this new industrial sector, working with policy makers and other stakeholders. To illustrate the positive environmental impact of its own HydroPRSTM plant in Wilton, Mura is also working with independent partner Warwick Manufacturing Group (part of the University of Warwick) on a plant life cycle analysis due to be published in autumn 2022.

igus has already regranulated 99% of the plastic waste generated during production for over 50 years, and in 2019 it also launched its own recycling program for unused e-chains® under the name “eco-chains®”. The first products made of 100% recycled materials this year were eco-chains® and iglidur ECO plain bearings. Also new is the igus:bike project for sustainable urban mobility. The concept includes a bicycle made entirely of polymers, which is completely lubrication-free and stainless, and its frame and wheels can also be made from post-consumer waste. With the igus:bike platform, igus also wants to promote know-how about plastics in the global bicycle industry and thus promote the circular economy internationally.

Source: igus press materials

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