MONTREAL, Quebec — Group Michelin has made an undisclosed investment in Canadian plastics recycling company Pyrowave Inc., which has developed a microwave-based chemical recycling technology that it claims can recover styrene monomer from plastic waste.
The size/scale of Michelin's investment in Pyrowave was not disclosed. Two other companies — Sofinnova Partners and ECO Fuel Systems Inc. — also made investments at the same time in Pyrowave, which describes itself as a "pioneer"of microwave-based plastic-to-plastic chemical recycling technology that allows post-consumer and post-industrial plastics to be regenerated and restored to their full value.
By bringing plastics back to their molecular state identical to virgin materials, Pyrowave claims its technology allows infinite recycling of plastics. The styrene monomer can later be integrated in the production of synthetic rubber.
The company did not give further details on the investment size, but said the move was "the first step" towards bringing the modular technology to market and scale-up.
"Our venture capital strategy aims to support the most innovative companies, with a strong growth potential, [while] focusing on the relevant domains for our businesses," Matthieu van der Elst, from Michelin Ventures, said.
The move, he added, strengthens Michelin's position as "a referent in the field of high technology sustainable materials."
"This investment marks a turning point in the circular economy of plastics and the support from Michelin sends the signal that the market is ready to implement these solutions," Pyrowave CEO Jocelyn Doucet said.