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The chemical recycling technology that might unlock a plastic neutral Australia
According to the chief executive officer of Licella, Dr Len Humphreys, the tools for a “truly circular economy” are now available. Humphreys has spent several years working alongside Professor Thomas Maschmeyer to bring their chemical recycling technology to the point of commercialisation.
Licella owns the patented rights of the Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (or Cat-HTR) platform developed by the duo, which is capable of chemically recycling end-of-life plastics (including plastic currently deemed non-recyclable) and other materials back into oils (where the plastics came from originally), using water as the change agent. This synthetic oil can be used to produce new plastic, fuels and chemicals – reducing waste and creating a new source of revenue. The technology could soon help the Timor-Leste become the first plastic neutral economy in the world. In May this year, the government of Australia’s near neighbour signed a memorandum of understanding at the University of Sydney with Mura Technology (a joint venture between Licella Holdings and UK renewables investors Armstrong Energy) for the development of a $US40 million chemical recycling plant.
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