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Managing Editor  | July 2017

Carbios signs agreement with goal of scaling up PET recycling technology

French green chemistry company Carbios has recently announced an agreement with TechnipFMC to launch a project aimed at scaling Carbios PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) enzymatic recycling process that produces virgin PET from plastic waste.



Carbios is looking to scale up its PET recycling process. (Wikimedia Commons)


According to a press release from Carbios, “This process has been developed for the recycling of PET plastics, namely bottles, films and packaging. It enables to overcome constraints and limits of current recycling processes by the treatment of all kind of plastics containing PET (transparent, colored, opaque and complex), and by the recovery of high-performance virgin PET directly from plastic waste.


“For the first time, a biological process paves the way to infinite recycling of PET following circular economy principles.”


This agreement will take the Carbios process from the laboratory to an industrial pilot and allow for a better understanding of what will be needed for this process to be scaled for industry.


Alain François, General Manager of TechnipFMC Operating Center in Lyon, notably in charge of the projects for chemical and bio-sourced industries, commented, “We are delighted to work with CARBIOS on this enzymatic recycling process that represents a true revolution in the world of PET. We have gained a solid experience in process engineering and we are very enthusiastic at the idea to assist CARBIOS in shaping the industrialization of this innovation.”


Jean-Claude Lumaret, General Manager of CARBIOS, added, “We are glad to initiate with TechnipFMC this stage of industrial engineering for our technology. This agreement is another step in the transition of our PET biorecycling process from the status of disruptive innovation to a leading industrial technology.”


An article from LabioTech.eu explained the Carbios process. It noted, “Carbios’ technology hinges on enzymes, which are able to depolymerize all PET-containing plastics to yield monomers that can be used to regenerate virgin PET directly from plastic waste.”


The article also added, “Carbios is also working on a process for the production of plastics made from biomass, alongside companies like Dutch Avantium, or Italian Bio-on. Yet, the current production capacity of bioplastics remains limited to below 1% of the total market, making Carbios’ recycling process a more tactile solution.”

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