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WATCH: The Plastic Economy

Plastic upcycling

2013 TED speaker Miranda Wang founded BioCellection—a technology to enable circularity for the plastic economy. Plastic is a problem but it can also be part of the solution. The technology that Miranda Wang is developing can convert plastic polymers into value added chemicals.

The technology being developed by BioCellection will convert plastic polymers into value-added chemicals that have applications in myriad fields such as in the manufacture of paints, plasticizers, textiles, polyurethanes, detergents, cleaners, etc. Our process involves two steps: 1) a hydrolysis process that converts paper and organic waste, often present in the waste plastic stream, into sugars and alcohols, and 2) an oxidation process that converts waste plastic polymers into organic acids. The second step of the process involves breaking the polymer chains into smaller pieces and adding oxygen to these chains to form different acids. The conditions used are considerably milder than pyrolysis processes.