Mixed polymer and rubber waste represent the most robust source of energy available in our waste stream today. Yet, astonishingly, we landfill more than 90 percent of these materials annually.
Akron’s Polyflow, LLC, has an environmentally responsible solution. “We design and manufacture energy-recovery systems that convert mixed-polymer waste to fuels and petrochemicals before
the waste reaches landfills,” explains CEO Jay Schabel.
The company, which was just established in June of 2012, recently struck a deal with private equity firm Ambassador Enterprises of Fort Wayne, Indiana, to form a new business to commercialize Polyflow’s systems. The new company – RES Polyflow, LLC
-- will remain in Akron. The “RES” stands for renewable energy solutions.
“The influx of capital will help us scale up efforts to commercialize our technology and create new jobs in the renewable-energy industry in Ohio,” Schabel states.
He explains that Polyflow will be producing renewable energy locally and profitably. “Our fuel-conversion equipment doesn’t require excessive sorting, handling or cleaning of mixed-polymer waste and will significantly reduce the need to landfill or incinerate millions of tons of plastic waste annually.”
Polyflow’s pilot unit is in Akron, and the company used it over the past four years to prove its process, validate the chemistry involved and provide end-product liquid samples for testing and verification. “We conducted 80 test runs and successfully converted eight tons of mixed-plastic waste into crude oil,” Schabel says.
The company is completing fabrication of its first full-scale, continuous-feed processor. The facility is in Perry, Ohio, in Lake County, and will be able to convert polymer feed into the same fuels as the pilot-scale processor but in large volumes. A grant from Ohio’s Third Frontier Advanced Energy Program in 2011 made this project possible, Schabel notes.
“Our goal is to provide licensors of our technology, such as landfill operators, recyclers, organizations managing large polymer-waste streams and energy-park developers, with the most profitable, efficient and scalable solution for plastic-to-oil conversion. “Energy-park developers put together funding, find a location and jump through the approval hoops to get permits to vet technology for investors in the park,” Schabel explains. “They then build the entire energy park.”
The company plans to add technical support staff in 2013.
Source: Jay Schabel, RES Polyflow, LLC