Brightmark Energy, a San Francisco–based renewable energy development company, has acquired a majority interest and invested $10 million in a groundbreaking plastics-to-fuel technology company, RES Polyflow (Chagrin Falls, OH). It also committed an additional $47 million investment in the first commercial-scale plant to utilize this technology, which will be located in Indiana.
Brightmark Energy develops, owns and operates waste and energy projects employing technology solutions including combined heat and power, biogas and waste-to-energy that are tailored to customer needs.
Brightmark has partnered with RES Polyflow, the energy technology company that innovated the process for converting plastics directly into transportation fuel and other products, on the creation of a platform for developing future plastics-to-fuel projects. RES Polyflow designs,manufactures and implements commercial-scale energy-recovery systems that offer a responsible end-of-life solution for non-recycled waste plastic.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to combat a major environmental ill and create positive economic incentives in the process,” said Bob Powell, President and CEO of Brightmark Energy. “We look forward to developing additional plastics conversion facilities both across the United States and globally over the next several years.”
RES Polyflow’s patented plastics-to-fuel process complements current recycling efforts by converting low-value, co-mingled plastic waste, such as film and flexible packaging, into marketable petroleum blend stocks like fuels and wax. RES Polyflow is a founding member of the Plastics-to-Fuel and Petrochemistry Alliance, based in Washington, D.C.
Brightmark Energy Chief Development Officer Zeina El-Azzisaid said, “This sustainable technology directly addresses an acute problem facing the United States: More than 91% of the 34.5 million tons of plastic domestically produced each year is not recycled. These products end up sitting in landfills for thousands of years or littering communities and waterways. We’re excited to help bring an economically viable solution to the marketplace.”
The facility will be located in Ashley, IN. It will convert 100,000 tons of plastic waste into 18 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and naphtha blend stocks and 5 million gallons of wax per year. That’s more plastic than the weight of 5,400 tractor trailers or seven Brooklyn Bridges.
“The RES Polyflow plastics-to-fuel process allows post-use plastics to be utilized in an environmentally friendly way, offering a productive end-of-life solution for this material,” said Jay Schabel, President of Brightmark’s new plastics-to-fuel development subsidiary, BME Renewable Polyfuels. “Simply attaching a positive and predictable market value to this segment of the waste stream incentivizes the use of materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill or as litter.”
A total of 136 full-time manufacturing jobs will be created in northeast Indiana when all phases of the facility are operational. BP will purchase the fuels produced by the facility, which will be distributed in the regional petroleum market. The Ashley plant will also produce commercial-grade waxes for sale to the industrial wax market.