Carbios, a French company pioneering new bio-industrial solutions to reinvent the lifecycle of plastic and textile polymers, announced the confirmed success of a key stage of its circular economy-polyethylene terephthalate (CE-PET) project. As a result, it has received a total amount of 1.4 million euros from the Investments for the Future Program operated by ADEME (France’s Agency of the Environment and Energy Management).
The CE-PET project, led by Carbios, aims to accelerate the ramp up of the company's industrial and commercial project in the bio-recycling of plastic waste and PET fibers. To this end, Carbios and its academic partner Toulouse White Biotechnology laboratory are working on the development of new enzymes whose activity, thermostability and adsorption on the polymer will be improved to ensure the best possible productivity of the depolymerization stage and fully adapt the process of enzymatic recycling to PET polyester fibers. As part of this project, Carbios is also focusing on optimizing at pilot stage the pre-treatment stages of waste (plastics and textiles), depolymerization and monomer purification. This first step made it possible to demonstrate the circularity of the process, with the production of the first PET bottles from Carbios' enzymatic recycling technology.
Following the provisional schedule, all the deliverables for the first milestone were obtained. The piloting of the enzymatic recycling process carried out on plastic PET waste has made it possible to establish the specifications of the engineering works of the industrial demonstrator, the construction of which must start at the beginning of 2020. Besides, the development of the process on high-grade textile waste in PET has demonstrated depolymerization levels equivalent to those obtained on plastic waste.
“This milestone confirms the relevance and effectiveness of our collaborative approach with the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Toulouse and Toulouse White Biotechnology/the Toulouse Biotechnology Institute laboratory,” said Jean-Claude Lumaret, CEO of Carbios, in a statement. “We are eager to translate these developments into our future demonstration plant and make this innovation an industrial reality.”