Brisbane-based climate-tech startup Cyclion is undertaking a $1.5 million equity crowdfunding campaign to commercialise technology it says could clean up the massive stockpiles of soft-plastic waste left by the REDcycle collapse last year within a matter of weeks.
The waste-to-energy startup, which has held talks with potential partners in the Philippines to build and operate a $150 million processing facility in Manila, says its technology has the capacity to quickly convert the 12,350 tonnes of plastic waste stockpiled by REDcycle into two million litres of diesel fuel – enough to fill the tanks of 33,333 cars.
Cyclion, co-founded by Philip Major and Stephen Burns in 2022, says its revolutionary technology converts mixed waste materials such as plastics and organic waste into energy via ‘green chemistry’.
Major, who has been researching waste-to-energy technology since 2014 through former venture CDP Waste2Energy, says the technology can convert environmentally destructive waste into energy.
“Recycling has been around for over 50 years, but less than 10 per cent of plastic waste is actually recycled,” says Major, the Cyclion CEO.
“The current recycling processes require significant mechanical force to sort and pre-treat mixed waste, but Cyclion mitigates this issue by rapidly and efficiently converting waste into energy.
“It’s the solution our planet has been (seeking) for decades.”
Burns says Cyclion is at the forefront of waste-to energy technology, with capacity to ‘do good’ for the environment.
“There are right now 12,500 tonnes of soft plastic stockpiled in Australia waiting to be exported to Asia to be dumped,” he says. “We’re playing our part in the removal of destructive waste.”
The crowdfunding campaign under way on the Birchal platform aims to raise up to $1.5 million as Cyclion progresses the commercialisation of its technology.
Cyclion’s process employs Cyclion Catalytic Fluid and uses a process that liquifies plastics and organic rubbish, converting it into fuel that can be used for vehicles or electricity production. The resulting carbon-dioxide produced is then processed through algae tanks and converted to oxygen.
The fuel produced is said to be more environmentally friendly, sustainable and profitable than existing fuel and energy sources.
The company says it converts plastics and general waste into a valuable commodity, providing an alternative to what it describes as inefficient waste management methods such as recycling.
The Cyclion process, the patent for which is pending, is described as being akin to a washing machine that takes mixed waste and runs it through various cycles that liquify and degrade the waste, leaving behind inorganic matter, such as solid glass or metals, that can be separated and recovered.
The degraded component becomes an oil that can then be further processed as fuel or converted into a flammable gas to generate electricity.
Cyclion says its plant would operate at less than 310 degrees Celsius, a much lower temperature than other similar recycling processes, which means it uses less energy to operate in a financially sustainable and self-sufficient model.
The company has not identified the potential partners with which it is in discussion in the Philippines, other than to say they are ‘multinational conglomerates’. Cyclion is aiming to have its first plant operational by 2025.
Cyclion initially plans to focus its operations on South-East Asia, where it says the vast majority of the world's plastic waste has been dumped.
“In the Philippines alone, more than one-third of the world's plastic waste has been distributed across the country's 7,641 islands,” Cyclion says.
“The intention is to start developing a project in Australia as the project in the Philippines progresses.”
Get our daily business news
Sign up to our free email news updates.