Gr3n, headquartered in Switzerland, announced today that it has raised €6.3million in a Series B funding round led by Chevron Technology Ventures and joined by Standex International, among other investors.
With this round, Gr3n, whose depolymerisation process breaks down PET and polyester plastic using proprietary microwave technology has now raised a total of €7.5 million in less than a year.
“This round of financing will allow us to grow the company further and ultimately move from a startup phase to bringing our revolutionary recycling solution to market,” said Maurizio Crippa, Gr3n Founder and Chief Executive.
Gr3n uses a process called Demeto - Depolymerization by Microwave Technology - that has the potential to scale chemical recycling from the research lab level to the manufacturing industry in an economically viable way, the company claims. It offers a reliable chemical recycling solution that closes the PET lifecycle, yields polymer grade material, treats waste, lowers carbon footprints, and provides cost savings for players throughout the value chain.
The process uses both post-consumer and post-industrial polyesters, including bottles (coloured, colourless, transparent, opaque) and textiles (100% polyester or with up to 30% of other materials like PU, cotton, polyether-polyurea, etc.) as input materials. It breaks these down into the material’s two core components, PTA and MEG monomers, which are then isolated and purified. These monomers can be re-polymerized to provide new virgin PET or any other polymer using one of the monomers. The process yield polymers suitable for the production of new bottles, trays or new garments, essentially completely displacing feedstock material from fossil fuels. This means that Gr3n can potentially achieve bottle-to-textile, textile-to-textile, or even textile-to-bottle recycling, moving from a linear to a circular system.
Gr3n operates a demo plant in Chieti, in the center of Italy, which is part of the Parco Scientifico e Tecnologico d’Abruzzo. The plant, which incorporates modifications and improvements that the pilot plant, has been built as a model of a future 30Kt/year gr3n industrial plant and serves to validate the process as well as to be able to test every single part of the entire plant.
The funding from Chevron was provided by its recently launched $300-million Future Energy Fund II, which is focused on industrial decarbonisation, emerging mobility, energy decentralisation, and the growing circular carbon economy. It brings Gr3n one step closer to its goal of becoming become a leading supplier of recycled PET and polyester, addressing the global need for virgin plastics and triggering a truly circular approach to plastic recycling.