Dutch-based Ioniqa Technologies and UK-based Koch Technology Solutions (KTS), the technology licensing arm of KTS, announced on Tuesday, September 13, that they have entered a partnership to scale up and commercialise Ioniqa’s advanced Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) recycle technology in the plastics industry.
As part of this collaboration, KTS has also committed to investing €30M in Ioniqa.
Making plastics sustainable
Today, governments, international brands, and plastic producers are setting themselves steep targets for 100 per cent recycled PET plastics, led by a major shift in consumer demands. This creates a massive pull for the circular solution Ioniqa is delivering.
Ioniqa Technologies is a clean-tech spinoff from the Eindhoven University of Technology (NL), specialised in creating value out of PET waste by using its proprietary circular technology. With a cost-effective process, Ioniqa claims to close the loop for plastics, starting with PET plastics.
Ioniqa has developed a process that utilises low-grade post-consumer PET to infinitely produce a feedstock that displaces virgin raw materials used in the production of polyester products. Ioniqa has successfully demonstrated this technology in The Netherlands’ 10KTA production facility.
Adam Sackett, President of KTS, says, “KTS has a long history in the polyester industry, and we recognise the value proposition of this disruptive technology that will fundamentally change how recycling is done. With an aligned vision on the future of PET recycling, we’re excited to launch this partnership with Ioniqa and leverage our complementary capabilities to advance solutions which are tailored to the needs of the market.”
How does Ioniqa’s process work?
According to Ioniqa, its smart fluids and the separation process upcycles all sorts of PET, even coloured PET, and claims that it was not possible until now. The raw material that it produces is identical to the plastics produced from oil and even suitable for food packaging.
The company does all this by the method called depolymerisation.
Explaining the process on its website, the company says, “The plastic, also known as a polymer, is submerged in a solution, such as water or glycol. The molecular structure of the polymer, which consists of identical units (the monomers), will then slowly start to dissolve. With the raw material that we harvest, we produce new, clear PET bottles that are food safe.”
Ioniqa’s Smart Materials and Separation Process is a platform technology. The current scaling up of its novel technology is focused on PET plastics only, but could be applied in the future to other plastics and organic materials as well.
Aim of this partnership
KTS and Ioniqa will work together to address the growing demand for recycled content in the 30 million metric tonnes per annum PET market. With the help of their technology, Ioniqa can transform PET trash, which is presently not recyclable, into materials that can be used for high-end food-grade applications like beverage bottles.
Both companies consider the technology as a disruptor in the PET industry, providing a sustainable economic recycling proposition to conventional manufacturing routes. The partnership will drive a circular process that addresses the environmental impacts of the current PET industry.
Tonnis Hooghoudt, CEO and Founder of Ioniqa, says, “After the scaling of our technology to a 10KTA depolymerisation plant in The Netherlands, this KTS partnership is a major stepping stone for Ioniqa in commercialising its technology on a global level. Our expertise in breaking down plastic waste into virgin-like monomers matches seamlessly with KTS’ track record in designing and licensing PET production processes worldwide. We believe that together we can meet the strong market demand for recycled PET materials by jointly providing licences and cleaning up the planet.”
Brief about Koch Technology Solutions
Koch Technology Solutions (KTS) is the technology licensing division of Koch Engineered Solutions (KES). The firm adds value for customers across a range of technologies, such as the polyester value chain, the refining industry, and 1,4-Butanediol plus its derivatives.
By combining its technologies, knowledge, and skills with those of other KES firms, KTS can offer comprehensive solutions to maximise capital expenditures and current production assets.
Koch Engineered Solutions (KES) on other hand claims to deliver superior value in developing, integrating and applying innovative technology and service solutions for industrial value chains. It offers engineered solutions in construction; mass and heat transfer; combustion and emissions controls; filtration; separation; materials applications; automation and actuation. KES is a subsidiary of Koch Industries.