UK firm Interface Polymers has developed Polarfin, a technology that it says can revolutionise the recycling industry. The process modifies the surface of commonly used polymers so that mixed plastic waste can be recycled into useful products.
The Polarfin approach works by allowing adhesion between otherwise incompatible materials and has applications in packaging, crop protection and construction. Company founders Dr Christopher Kay and Professor Peter Scott came up with the idea while working on a joint project at the University of Warwick.
They obtained funding from the government’s business booster Innovate UK, which helped to scale up production of Polarfin additives from a few grams to tens of kilograms. This allowed the company to start supplying samples to customers.
Interface Polymers has attracted £4 million (EUR 4.6 million) in private investment since the business was launched just over over two years ago. Dr Kay forecasts a turnover of £100 million within eight years.
‘We will be working closely with customers to prove the technology across three or four applications in readiness for a multi-tonne production campaign,’ he says. ‘All our target markets are substantial. Each is big enough to drive the growth of the business, once we have the right product in the right hands, delivered in the right way at the right cost.’
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