Econic Technologies and Imperial College London have been awarded over £100,000 in funding to develop ways of manufacturing plastics from waste gases.
The innovative processes are highly energy efficient and convert waste carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial processes and power generation to produce polymers that are suitable for use in applications from food packaging to furniture.
Econic Technologies – backed by technology investor Imperial Innovations and independent polymer industry service provider Norner – is developing technologies to enable over 30% of conventional polymer feedstock to be replaced with a waste gas.
The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) awarded the c£100K grant to the project in November following a competition for innovative technologies in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).
Econic will be using the funding throughout 2013 to support research and development activities utilising CO2 captured at coal fired power stations in their polymerisation processes. A highlight of the project will be the conversion of CO2 collected from an industrial stream at the Ferrybridge Carbon Capture pilot plant in West Yorkshire.
Grant partner Imperial College London will provide access to the sophisticated analytical facilities needed to analyse the polymers. Imperial also supports the project by providing access to equipment that allows the preparation of well-defined gas mixtures.
Colin Keyworth, Process Development Manager at Econic says:
‘This project will give us valuable insight into how much clean-up will be required after capture. It will also clarify how we may be able to integrate our polymerisation process into a Carbon Capture plant’.
Using captured CO2 to make valuable products, such as polymer coatings, foams and packaging, can improve the economics of otherwise costly CCS. Econic’s polymerisation technology has the potential to be particularly suitable for CCS applications, as the Econic catalysts are robust and highly tolerant to water, a major component in captured CO2.