UW–Madison professor, Green Bay company to upscale flexible plastic recycling technique
UW–Madison chemical and biological engineering professor George Huber and Green Bay-based Convergen Energy are working to upscale a new recycling technique that could help keep flexible plastics out of landfills, according to Wisconsin Public Radio.
The project is still in the early stages but would ideally see the opening of a commercial demonstration facility in Green Bay by 2025.
Wisconsin’s packaging industry employs 43,000 people, 25,000 of which are in flexible packaging. Researchers developed a plastic recycling process called solvent-targeted recovery and precipitation (STRAP) with support from a U.S. Department of Energy grant.
The commercialization of STRAP will require a lab phase, a pilot phase, a commercial demonstration, and the establishment of a profitable commercial facility.
STRAP efforts are currently still in the lab phase, but the opening of an initial facility down the road would facilitate the production of 4,000–5,000 tons of recycled material annually. A full-scale commercial operation would double that.