DEMETO proposes a clear path towards the industrialization of the first process for full chemical recycling of PET plastics post-consumer waste to virgin-grade EG and PTA, through the microwave-based Process Intensification of the alkaline hydrolysis reaction. This paves the way for the constitution of a disruptive circular economy value chain for PET that will lead to high double digit reduction of energetic and environmental impact, while guaranteeing widespread adoption of the technology thanks to its lower investment costs and plants’ size.
Impact on European competitiveness
The approach for PET chemical de-polymerization proposed by DEMETO is a potential market game changer, in that it enables a new production of high-quality materials such as virgin-grade EG and PTA by using post-consumer waste. This technological breakthrough can become a European opportunity to gain a position of dominance on the future market of plastic production, even with respect to China and the eastern countries, while guaranteeing positive effects both in social and innovation-related terms.
Impact on environment and society
An average de-polymerization plant would require approximately 30 employees (between blue collars and white collars) to be operated effectively, meaning a potential for around 2000 direct jobs creation in Europe and 8000 overall (only considering the existing available market).
Through the preliminary numbers computed in an LCA study it has been possible to estimate that DEMETO’s de-polymerization process (comprehensive of the core reactors and the Treatment Unit), compared to the environmental and energetic impact of current monomers’ production (from oil companies), guarantees a radical improvement of the life-cycle environmental impact, with -38% of CO2/kg and -67% of MJ/kg.