A solution to the global issue of plastics end-of-life management

Plastics have become essential in our modern economy, and their production has more than doubled in the last 15 years to 320 million tonnes in 2010. It is estimated that by 2050, 60% of plastics generated will be recycled. With a global plastic demand estimated at nearly 1 billion tonnes per year by 2050, this represents an opportunity of 600 million tonnes for plastics chemical recycling technologies, i.e., twice the size of the current global plastic market.

Despite their many benefits, plastics end-of-life management is the key issue for which innovative solutions are required.Pyrowave provides a unique technology to regenerate post-consumer plastics by breaking them down into intermediate products that are used to make plastics identical to virgin plastics, restoring their full value. Pyrowave paves the way to a true circular economy of plastics.

Plastics are made of "blocks", i.e., monomers, which are assembled into long chains called polymers. In the manufacture of plastics, monomers are assembled through a polymerization process. Pyrowave technology helps deliver the opposite operation and break the bonds between the monomers without damaging them, thus allowing monomers to be reassembled again in new chains to form new plastics, identical to brand new ones.

This approach has many benefits, since it is easier to purify the monomers because they are liquid while plastics are solid. Current technologies can effectively separate impurities from liquids by distillation and thus find the original quality monomer used by the industry to remanufacture brand new products.

The regeneration of plastics allows for an infinite recycling and avoids the GHGs associated with the extraction of virgin material.

The North American Leader
of Polystyrene Recycling

Pyrowave has initiated the North American Polystyrene Recycling Consortium announced at the G7 ministerial meeting in September 2018, with ReVital Polymers and INEOS Styrolution.

Press release


The Pyrowave technology: Electrifying progress

Regenerate the polystyrene products to infinity

« When you talk about recycled PS for food and medical applications, you need virgin PS quality.
We are committed to turn depolymerization into reality to provide the market with this highest possible quality. »
Dr. Norbert Niessner
SCS Chair of Technologies

The circular economy of plastics

# # # # # The circular economy of plastics The circular economy of plastics
1) Preconditioner prepares plastic feedstock, including shredded feedstock below 5 cm.
5) The regenerated monomer is used by industry to remanufacture many products with properties identical to products made with monomers from petroleum.
4) Liquid monomer is purified and meets the same specs as virgin material.
2) The Pyrowave patented reactor takes out plastic building blocks using proprietary microwave technology.

3) The plastic building blocks are separated from impurities by distillation to recover virgin-like monomers.
t1 t2 t3 t4 PDF Brochure

The Pyrowave Technology

Pyrowave’s patented microwave catalytic depolymerization technology provides the most advanced high-power microwave technology worldwide, now at the forefront of a new revolution designed to increase resource efficiency.

The 600 Series CMD reactor is specifically designed for polystyrene (PS) raw materials and can process the full range of expanded polystyrene (EPS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS).

  1. The continuous process firstly mixes plastics in a preparation tank, which helps remove contaminants such as labels and films, in addition to other impurities. This also helps inject plastics into the reactor more easily.
  2. The processed polystyrene is introduced into the reactor where it is mixed with silicon carbide particles to interact with a high energy microwave field.
  3. Using electrical power and microwaves, the developed process breaks down polymer chains into monomers (depolymerization).
  4. Post-consumer polystyrene is thus converted into a liquid rich in blocks – the monomers – which are then purified and meet the same specifications as the monomers used in the industry.
  5. These purified and recycled blocks are then reprocessed by a manufacturer and restored into virgin resins, to manufacture a variety of products such as polystyrene, synthetic rubber, latex and plastics for electronic products.

    Therefore, new products and packaging can be manufactured from 100% recycled polystyrene.
What is depolymerization?

Pyrowave Technology Benefits

  • A modular technology that helps increase the local existing sorting facilities’ technology supply and can be rolled out quickly on the market.
  • A process that converts materials with little market demand into high-value-added products on the global market and compatible with standard virgin products used by the petrochemical industry.
  • A microwave system using about 15 times less energy than the current process to manufacture styrene monomers from virgin resources, and the heat released can be recovered to heat buildings.
  • A technology that helps recycle post-consumer polystyrene products and packaging, including contaminated food containers.
  • Its current yield can reach up to 95% in monomer production and has a processing capacity ranging from 100 kg/h to 200 kg/h. One module can therefore produce between 500 and 1000 tons/year)
  • The generated products prevent the extraction of petroleum materials, therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per ton of processed plastics.
  • Pyrowave technology is chiefly designed to process polystyrene (plastic # 6), but could possibly process polypropylene (plastic # 5) and polyethylene (plastics # 2 and # 4).

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The Pyrowave technology: Electrifying progress