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KBR and Mura Technology announce global plastics recycling licensing alliance

US-headed KBR, Inc. a leading international provider of science, technology, and engineering solutions has announced today that it has signed a global alliance agreement with UK-headed Mura Technology Ltd to offer Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR), an innovative advanced plastics recycling process, originally developed by Australia-based technology developers Licella Holdings Pty.

According to Licella, its proprietary Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR) platform recycles plastic at a chemical level, meaning almost all plastic types can be recycled back into its chemical building blocks (photo courtesy Licella).

According to Licella, its proprietary Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR) platform recycles plastic at a chemical level, meaning almost all plastic types can be recycled back into its chemical building blocks (photo courtesy Licella).

Under the terms of the alliance, KBR will be the exclusive licensing partner for Mura Technology and will provide studies, basic engineering, technical services, proprietary equipment, and modules for the Cat-HTR technology to customers across the world.

We are extremely excited to announce that KBR will offer Cat-HTR for license to clients so they can efficiently recycle end-of-life waste plastic and convert it into a reusable feedstock for plastics or other valuable chemicals production. This technology aligns with KBR’s commitment to sustainability by reducing lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions and the volume of waste that enters landfills and the environment, whilst contributing to the growth of the plastic circular economy, said Doug Kelly, KBR President, Technology.

KBR’s position at the forefront in the provision of innovative, game-changing technologies offers Mura Technology world-class development opportunities within the global petrochemical sector.

Alongside the KBR partnership, Mura Technology retains the ability to develop its own operational recycling capacity, with the world’s first Cat-HTR site currently in development at Teesside in North East England. On completion, the site will be able to process 80 000 tonnes of plastic waste per year.

This technology is revolutionary. We face a global plastic pollution disaster, as only a minority of plastic waste can be recycled – the rest goes into the ocean, incineration, or landfill – at great expense. Meanwhile, we take more oil out of the ground to make new plastics. We want to change the way the world thinks about plastics – not as a waste product, but as a valuable resource – using our technology to forge an environmentally friendly, plastic neutral, and sustainable future. KBR is a natural partner for us to achieve this vision – a global leader with the capabilities to support the licensing of our technology around the world. This partnership will accelerate our plans to help eliminate plastic waste from the environment, said Dr Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology.

The company also has also identified development opportunities in Germany and the United States (US), with an exploration into Asian markets underway. It plans to have 1 million tonnes of global plastic waste recycling capacity in operation or development by 2025.

Solution for end-of-life and non-recyclable plastics

Originally developed by Licella Holdings Pty, which is also the largest single shareholder in Mura Technology, Cat-HTR is an advanced recycling process that uses supercritical steam to convert plastics back into the chemicals and oils from which they were made.

The supercritical steam acts like molecular scissors, cutting longer-chain hydrocarbon bonds in the plastic to produce shorter-chain hydrocarbon products. These can then be used to produce new, virgin-grade plastic and other materials, or reused in other sectors, such as asphalt.

According to Licella, Cat-HTR can recycle all waste plastics, including those considered unrecyclable, such as multi-layer, flexible plastic films, pots, tubs, and trays that are currently incinerated or sent to landfill.

Licella is delighted by the news of the partnership between Mura and KBR, a truly world-class commercial partner. Through this global partnership, KBR demonstrates their confidence in both Mura and our Cat-HTR technology, as an environmentally responsible solution to transform plastic back into a valuable and reusable resource, commented Dr Len Humphreys, CEO, and Co-Founder of Licella and Cat-HTR Co-Inventor.

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