- Utah-based startup PK Clean has announced a second facility using its plastic-to-oil technology is currently being built in Canada and will be operational by the end of the year.
- Trimantium Capital is helping the company raise $50 million by the third quarter of 2017 to develop multiple projects in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia.
- This summer the company will also be collaborating with the Plastic Ocean Project on an expedition from North Carolina to Bermuda. During the trip, plastic marine debris will be collected and converted into fuel on a boat using PK Clean's technology.
PK Clean, founded by Priyanka Bakaya and Benjamin Coates, opened its initial Salt Lake City facility in 2013 with support from both the state and private funding sources. According to the company, its patented process can generate roughly 2,500 gallons of fuel from one ton of plastic, as well as natural gas which is used to heat the system.
While this sector is still relatively small, the American Chemistry Council has previously estimated that the U.S. could support up to 600 plastic-to-oil facilities (depending on size) which would require $6.6 billion in capital investments. PK Clean aims to build 50 units, each with 30 tons per day of capacity, over the next 10 years.
As these types of facilities expand they may find more interested customers among municipalities and corporations with high diversion rate goals. Aside from combustion, few viable options are available to keep hard-to-recycle plastics out of landfills. With an estimated 250 million metric tons of plastic set to enter oceans by 2025, there will also be no shortage of marine material to draw from if efficient solutions can be developed to collect it.