Pyrolytic recycling specialist, Enval - a privately funded company originally spun-out from the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambridge - has secured premises to build its first commercial scale microwave induced pyrolysis system for recovering energy and materials from foil-containing flexible packaging.
The company said that the new premises in the recently designated Enterprise Zone at Alconbury, near Huntingdon will be used to showcase this process and will become a centre of excellence for advanced resource recovery technologies.
According to Enval multi-national brand owners Nestle, Kraft Foods Group and Mondelez International are part of a group of stakeholders that has backed the development of the facility, underlining the potential that its technology has demonstrated for improving the recyclability of flexible laminates.
The site is planned to feature a fully operational, continuous process plant based on Enval's award-winning Microwave Induced Pyrolysis system for recovering valuable materials from foil-containing flexible packaging.
The company added that it intends to use the plant to demonstrate the new technology at full commercial scale to other potential users working in the recycling industry in the expectation that similar plants will be built in other parts of the UK and further afield.
"We know of many companies within the resource recycling sector that have found the planning process difficult to navigate. Enval's experience, with the support and expertise offered by our local authority partners and the Enterprise Zone itself, has been an extremely positive one," commented David Boorman, Enval's business development director.
Enval also said that it is the first company to take advantage of the benefits of setting up on the Enterprise Zone at Alconbury, an area established specifically to generate economic and employment opportunities in the region around Huntingdon.
The planning application for the facility was backed by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (GCCP), and Cambridgeshire County Council approved the new development, stating that Enval "will create the first job opportunities within the Alconbury Enterprise Zone".
Following consultation with Huntingdonshire District Council and Great Stukeley Parish Council, planning permission has been granted for conversion of two existing buildings on the former airfield to house a demonstration recycling plant which will divert laminated packaging, mainly sourced locally, away from landfill.
Enval claimed that its technology offers a financially attractive and genuine recycling route for plastic/aluminium laminate packaging that has, to date, been unrecyclable.
The company said that its award winning technology separates the material into its constituent components, producing clean aluminium ready for introduction into the secondary aluminium supply chain and hydrocarbons that can be used as fuel for energy recovery or chemical feedstock.
According to Enval the process offers a much more beneficial outcome for waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill or incinerated.