Novoloop Breaks Ground on Chemically Upcycled TPU Pilot Plant

Facility under construction in India expected to process 70 tonnes/year of waste TPU by the end of 2024.

Menlo Park, CA–based Novoloop has announced the construction of a pilot plant in India to trial its process for manufacturing chemically upcycled thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from post-consumer plastic waste. The facility will eventually process 70 tonnes/year of waste TPU by the end of 2024. Novoloop’s Lifecycling process has already been employed to produce test quantities of virgin-quality, high-performance TPU for use in prototype  Run on Clouds  sports shoes by Swiss sports brand On. Watch Band Tpu

Novoloop Breaks Ground on Chemically Upcycled TPU Pilot Plant

The pilot plant is a collaboration with Indian company Aether Industries, a specialty chemical manufacturer and chemical process development provider, and will demonstrate the scalability of Novoloop's Lifecycling technology to transform post-consumer plastic waste into monomers for the synthesis of TPU.

Chemically upcycled TPU is used in Swiss brand On’s Run on Cloud prototype running shoes. Image courtesy of On.

“The integrated pilot plant, mirroring our full-scale commercial process design, marks a pivotal advancement in technology readiness,” said Nedim Hasanbegovic, VP of Engineering at Novoloop. Equipped with industrially applicable instrumentation, process controls, and safety systems, it will operate continuously confirming the reliability of this first-of-a-kind Lifecycling process, said Novoloop. This crucial step will demonstrate the technology in a real-world, 24/7 operating environment, paving the way for full-scale production. Additionally, the operations at Aether will validate key techno-economic aspects such as product yield and recovery rates, demonstrating the financial attractiveness of Novoloop's proprietary technology.

Related: Sports Shoe Commissioned from Carbon Emissions

Novoloop said its Lifecycling technology provides an economical and sustainable solution to hard-to-recycle plastics. By using highly scalable mechanisms of oxidation to convert post-consumer polyethylene into useful monomers for durable materials, Novoloop expects to provide its products at prices competitive with fossil fuel–based products. Furthermore, an ISO-compliant lifecycle assessment shows that Novoloop monomers can realize a carbon footprint reduction of up to 91% when compared to the conventional process of producing adipic acid.

The project will unfold in phases, with the startup of initial operations commencing in Q1 2024 and culminating in the eventual 70-tonne annual plastic intake capacity by the end of 2024. This phased approach allows for meticulous data collection and optimization at each step, ensuring a robust and scalable operation, according to Novoloop. Products generated from this pilot plant will be made available to customers for trial and commercial release.

“Aether Industries is proud to partner with Novoloop on this transformative project,” said Dr. Aman Desai, director and senior VP of Research, Manufacturing, and Operations. “Our combined expertise in chemical manufacturing and Novoloop's innovative circular solution create an ideal platform to usher in a new era of sustainable plastic management.”

“This pilot plant is a testament to the commitment of the Novoloop team and our partners at Aether Industries to tackle the global plastic crisis,” said Miranda Wang, co-founder and CEO of Novoloop. “By scaling this technology, we are creating a pathway toward a truly circular world, where plastic waste becomes a valuable resource.”

Stephen has been with  PlasticsToday  and its preceding publications  Modern Plastics  and  Injection Molding  since 1992, throughout this time based in the Asia Pacific region, including stints in Japan, Australia, and his current location Singapore. His current beat focuses on automotive. Stephen is an avid folding bicycle rider, often taking his bike on overseas business trips, and a proud dachshund owner.

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Novoloop Breaks Ground on Chemically Upcycled TPU Pilot Plant

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