Canadian recycler Pyrowave says it has reached a major stage having successfully passed Michelin Group’s quality tests with the first 99.8% pure recycled styrene monomer produced from polystyrene waste. Recycled monomer can now be integrated into industrial elastomer batches. For the first time, a finished product will incorporate fully traceable and segregated recycled styrene, where all the styrene will be physically present in the product rather than a credit-based content.
A container with approximately 3 tonnes of recycled styrene has left Montreal for the Michelin plant in France. Following years of testing, Michelin will be in a position to manufacture batches of industrial styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) products with Pyrowave recycled styrene, which would represent over 1,000 passenger car tyres.
“The industry has forever been dreaming of a circular economy with recycled, traceable and segregated content. Pyrowave now demonstrates that it is possible through its technology. This achievement confirms once and for all that we can implement a 100% traceable and controlled supply chain in polystyrene recycling. We can now provide recycled content to meet consumer expectations: products can now be made entirely from recycled material, without dilution or degradation. Pyrowave is defining a new standard in plastic recycling and is leading the way toward reaching environmental goals”, stated Jocelyn Doucet, CEO of Pyrowave.
Pyrowave adds it takes great pride in this achievement in collaboration with its major partner, Michelin, who has been present at all testing stages at the Pyrowave plant. This new accomplishment will contribute to Michelin’s environmental goals.
“The Pyrowave approach is designed to electrify processes using microwaves, making it possible to keep resources in the production loop of new goods while also reducing the carbon footprint. This unique technology will contribute to our goal of an all-sustainable tire in 2050, which will incorporate 100% recycled or renewable bio-sourced materials while contributing to our carbon neutrality roadmap”, said Christophe Durand, Sustainable Materials Development Manager at Michelin. “Pyrowave technology is ahead of its time. We are not simply catching up with tomorrow, we are aiming for the day after”, he added.
Pyrowave developed a microwave technology to return waste polystyrene plastics to their original form, i.e. styrene monomers. This high-value raw material, which is identical to virgin material, but with a 45% reduced carbon footprint, can then be reused in the production of items made from recycled materials and share the same applications as virgin materials used in transportation, packaging, electronics and construction. This approach provides a circular economy solution to the global plastics recycling challenge.