First Finished Products Made With Recycled Styrene Generated Through Pyrowave Technology

14 September 2023

Canadian technology company Pyrowave has achieved a significant milestone in recycling plastic waste by collaborating with Michelin and Knauf Industries to produce finished elastomer and plastic products containing 100% recycled styrene. The tests conducted by Michelin and Knauf Industries demonstrated that these recycled materials had quality and intrinsic properties identical to those of materials made from virgin fossil-sourced styrene.

Tests for Future Tire Incorporation:

  • Michelin, a leader in sustainable mobility, produced a four-ton prototype batch of styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) at its Bassens plant in France. This SBR was made using 100% recycled styrene from Pyrowave's technology.
  • The recycled SBR passed all quality tests, exhibiting no differences compared to products made from styrene derived from fossil sources.
  • These successful tests pave the way for further experiments to incorporate Pyrowave's recycled styrene into tires for laboratory and track applications to confirm performance.

Further Tests for Food Packaging:

  • Knauf Industries, a major player in expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging and technical parts, successfully produced expanded polystyrene parts using 100% recycled styrene from Pyrowave technology.
  • These recycled EPS products passed all laboratory tests for performance and quality, matching the standards of products made with fossil-derived styrene.
  • Migration tests confirmed that these products are safe for food contact applications, demonstrating the feasibility of closed-loop polystyrene using Pyrowave technology.

In both cases, the styrene used was sourced from recycled materials, ensuring physical traceability within the finished products. This achievement aligns with the sustainability goals of Michelin and Knauf Industries, as it significantly reduces the carbon footprint compared to traditional production methods.

The collaboration between Pyrowave, Michelin, and Knauf Industries is part of an ongoing project initiated in 2020. The successful tests represent a crucial step toward incorporating recycled styrene in technical applications like SBR and EPS, demonstrating the reliability of Pyrowave technology and its potential to replace fossil styrene in various industrial applications without compromising product quality.

These results highlight the potential of innovative recycling technologies to meet high-quality standards while contributing to environmental sustainability. Jocelyn Doucet, President and CEO of Pyrowave, expressed optimism about the future applications of their technology and the positive impact it can have on reducing environmental footprints.