R&D Into Digestion of Plastics

Extremophile Waste Treatment Firm Advetec Expands

Bath, UK based Advetec, a specialist in the use of extremophiles to treat solid and liquid organic waste, is expanding its operations with additional laboratories and staff to research plastic digestion.

Image © Advetec

Bath, UK based Advetec, a specialist in the use of extremophiles to treat solid and liquid organic waste, is expanding its operations with a £600,000 investment in additional laboratories and staff to research plastic digestion.

The investment will see a doubling of office space with increased storage facilities and a new purpose-built laboratory for Research and Development has three state-of-the art pilot plants. These will test and trial pre- and post-treatment liquid and solid organic waste streams, to ensure optimal digester performance.

Careful analysis of a company’s waste stream will establish the calorific (kg/k) or nutritional value (NPK) of output waste material for a range of customers around the world. These include a growing number of UK and International customers in food processing, utilities, transport, hospitality and manufacturing deploying Advetec digester technology under full managed service agreements.

A former underwater explorer Craig Shaw, Group CEO said: “Our ethos is that all waste is a resource worth harvesting. With 100 years’ worth of plastic garbage floating around our eco system, we have a responsibility to deal with it.  Just removing plastic from the sea then dumping it into the ground is not a solution. Hence our Circular Solution: collect it, process it and reuse it.

"We started by developing our Advetec XO reactor (an on-site plant that reduces waste by 60-90% within 24 -72 hours) and now add R&D into plastic degradation to bring us closer to finding a solution to deal with plastics and save our oceans, a cause particularly close to my heart.”

The team matches and tailors bacteria strains and bespoke bio-stimulants to individual effluent streams to maximise the digestive effectiveness of the company’s treatment systems.  With this research Advetec claimed that it can guarantee the performance in reducing liquid and solid waste by 70-90% by volume and treat any emissions from specific waste streams.      

The company, which said that it already has solutions for digesting the most challenging organic waste streams including co-mingled waste, will also be directing R&D efforts to Class 1 waste; animal by-product, medical and air travel waste. Plastic digestion will be the primary focus, the world’s biggest waste issue, and the effective conversion of mixed solids waste (trash, garbage) as a consistent feed stock for waste to energy companies.

In addition to new facilities Advetec is immediately employing an additional 17 staff at its operational base in Bath, including engineers, project managers and sales and expects to add a further 30 technical staff by the end of 2018.

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