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Novoloop and Aether achieve continuous operations at first-of-its-kind recycling pilot plant

| By Mary Bailey

Novoloop (Menlo Park, Calif.; announced the successful startup of its pilot plant in India. In collaboration with Aether Industries, a publicly-listed specialty chemicals manufacturer, the pilot plant’s groundbreaking in Surat was announced in January 2024. Construction was completed in March 2024 with astounding speed. The pilot plant has now passed equipment testing and solvent runs, and has achieved continuous operations with the usage of commercially-representative waste feedstock.

This milestone marks the successful transition from batch reactions to an integrated and automated plant that validates Novoloop’s first-of-a-kind Lifecycling technology. Novoloop’s Lifecycling process transforms post-consumer polyethylene plastic waste into virgin-quality monomers for performance materials at a carbon footprint reduction of up to 91% when compared to the conventional process of producing adipic acid.

Miranda Wang, Co-founder and CEO of Novoloop, emphasized the project’s significance: “After years of research, development, and engineering, we have built a radically innovative process and now our pilot plant is successfully demonstrating this paradigm shift in technology. We are tremendously excited about this next chapter, where we make available the first lots of Lifecycled™ products to the world.”

Novoloop and Aether Achieve Continuous Operations of Pilot Plant (Source: Novoloop)

Novoloop is a mission-driven company focused on creating scalable solutions for the hardest-to-recycle plastics. In recognition of the company’s potential for world-scale environmental impact, this pilot scaleup has received the support of Rolex as part of its Perpetual Planet Initiative.

The primary objectives of the pilot plant are to demonstrate the safe and reliable operations of the integrated process, validate key equipment performance in an industrial environment, and achieve production of high purity products. The facility also provides a platform for training personnel and developing protocols for commercial operations. The plant will produce ton-scale samples to enable off-take commitments with early customers.

“Having built the pilot plant in less than six months, from detailed engineering to commissioning, the project demonstrates remarkable efficiency and collaboration between the teams,” said Dr. Aman Desai, Director and Senior VP of Research, Manufacturing, and Operations at Aether. “Aether is proud to partner with Novoloop on their groundbreaking and innovative technology towards a plastic circular economy, and looks forward to taking this technology towards commercialization.”

Aether’s operational expertise is a strong asset and instills confidence in the potential for larger-scale collaborations between the companies in the future. Novoloop’s plans to expand the pilot capacity to the full 70 metric tons per year demonstration plant scale are already underway.