Pyrowave developped over the past 7 years the first commercial Catalytic Microwave Depolymerization (CMD) reactor that operates in small modules capable of processing around 800 tons/year of material. We have built 3 prototypes of our technology and we are now operating at commercial scale in our demonstration plant in Montreal, Canada.
The vision of Pyrowave is to go where the waste is. Our modules will be localized near where the material is generated (like collection centeres, sorting facilities) to minimize transportation of light waste plastics. The modules convert the plastic into chemicals on-site with high yields and selectivities and those chemicals are used to make virgin-like plastics. The advantage is that our chemicals, although chemically identical to virgin chemicals, are obtained from recycled sources, and therefore have a significantly lower carbon footprint and lower impact on natural ressources.
Our technology is currently operating on polystyrene from post-consumer and post-industrial sources with yields ranging from 60% to 85% in styrene monomer depending on the level of contamination. The balance is mainly ethylbenzene which is also a valuable by-product to the polystyrene industry and therefore our output product has a very high commodity value on the market. The high yields and selectivities obtained towards styrene originates from our unique microwave applicator that targets very specifically the proper chemical bonds while cutting the polymer chains.
Our approach is inspired by Nature where complex structures are decomposed into their building blocks that are common denominators to photosynthesis processes. The free energy from the sun then provides the sufficient work needed to restructure those building blocks in new structure. Pyrowave uses electrical energy to decompose complex structures into blocks usable to make new products.