RiKarbon Turns Ocean Plastics & DOE Funding into Renewable PET – Learn How!

RiKarbon, Inc. has been turning agricultural waste and other non-food biomass feedstock into UpSycal oils for lubricants and cosmetic formulations since 2018. Now the Delaware-based company is making previously non-recyclable materials, including ocean plastics and colored soda bottles, into recyclable products using its proprietary RiPurpose technology. With at least 8 million tons of plastic ending up in our oceans every year making up 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments, RiKarbon is working to mitigate this threat to marine environments while creating products with value, a perfect example of circular economy.

RiKarbon’s RiPurpose technology can breakdown post-consumer PET plastic, collected from land and oceans, into PET’s building block chemicals, such as terephthalic acid (TPA)/ ethylene glycol (EG) monomers or low molecular weight oligomers, for production of renewable PET. The company’s diligent efforts to deliver high quality, environmentally-friendly, and safe products have helped the team secure an additional $1,149,756 in Phase II funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) after using $206,500 in Phase I SBIR funding from the same agency to demonstrate how its RiPurpose technology works.

RiPurpose allows existing PET or PET’s raw materials manufacturers to use waste plastic feedstock and produce end products that are currently produced from petroleum. The company plans to commercialize this technology in partnerships with the existing PET or PET raw materials manufacturers or plastics recycling companies. As carbon taxes and mandates requiring plastic bottles be made with at least 25% recycled plastics by 2025 come into play across the globe, RiKarbon’s RiPurpose technology is at the forefront to help manufacturers achieve these goals by producing recyclable plastic products of equivalent quality to incumbent products using waste materials, and without petroleum.

The company’s other successful product offerings include UpSycal oils containing up to 100% bio-based and upcycled carbon, based on patented technologies. This innovative product enables the production of safer, natural, upcycled and label-friendly cosmetics and lubricants to meet growing consumer desires. The company has successfully completed a pilot scale production campaign for UpSycal oils and is on target to bring the products to the market. With these successes in-hand RiKarbon Inc. is a renewable technology company to watch as it works to create a long lasting societal impact.