Brightmark Invests In Commercial-Scale Plastics-To-Fuel Plant

Nov. 16, 2018
New technology offers sustainable use for post-use plastics, diverting from landfills and litter.

Brightmark Energy, a San Francisco-based renewable energy development company, acquires a majority interest and invests $10 million in Ohio-based technology company RES Polyflow, which has developed a process for converting plastics directly into transportation fuel. Brightmark also commits to an additional $47 million investment in the first commercial-scale plant to utilize this technology, according to the company. The plant will be located in Indiana. Brightmark and RES Polyflow are also partnering to create a platform for developing future plastics-to-fuel projects.

RES Polyflow’s plastics-to-fuel process sustainably recycles waste that has reached the end of its useful life – including items that cannot readily be recycled, like plastic film, flexible packing and children’s toys – directly into useful products, like fuels and wax.

“This sustainable technology directly addresses an acute problem facing the United States: more than 91% of the 34.5 million tons of plastic domestically produced each year is not recycled,” says Brightmark Energy chief development officer Zeina El-Azzi. “These products end up sitting in landfills for thousands of years or littering communities and waterways. We’re excited to help bring an economically viable solution to the marketplace.”

The facility will be located in Ashley, Indiana. It will reportedly convert 100,000 tons of plastic waste into 18 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and naphtha blend stocks and five million gallons of wax per year. That’s more plastic than the weight of 5,400 tractor trailers or seven Brooklyn Bridges, according to Brightmark.

“Simply attaching a positive and predictable market value to this segment of the waste stream incentivizes the use of materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill or as litter,” says Jay Schabel, president of Brightmark’s new plastics-to-fuel development subsidiary, BME Renewable Polyfuels.

A total of 136 full time manufacturing jobs will reportedly be created in Northeast Indiana when all phases of the facility are operational. BP will purchase the fuels produced by the facility, which will be distributed in the regional petroleum market, according to Brightmark. The Ashley plant will also produce commercial grade waxes for sale to the industrial wax market, which will be purchased by AM WAX.

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